PHOENIX - The family of a man who was arrested by Phoenix Police in a case of mistaken identity is disputing Phoenix Police's account of what happened.
According to a statement released by Phoenix Police on Friday, authorities conducting surveillance on a home near the area of 7th Avenue and Southern identified an individual as 20-year-old Khalil Thornton, who was wanted in connection with an armed robbery incident that sent a 66-year-old man to the hospital.
Police officials say a Special Assignments Unit was deployed to the home, and deployed what police describe as an "auditory diversionary device". The individual did not comply with officer's command as they tried to take him into custody, and SAU officers then shot him with what police describe as a "baton round" to ensure he did not get away.
The individual arrested, according to police, was later determined to be Thornton's brother, 19-year-old Dion Humphrey. Officials noted that Thornton and Humphrey are about ten months apart in age, and are very similar in appearance. Humphrey was taken home by Phoenix Police officers after he was interviewed concerning another investigation.
On late Friday afternoon, a joint statement issued by Humphrey's family, family attorney David Dow, and Rev. Jarrett Maupin accused Phoenix Police officials of lying to the community.
The statement claims Humphrey has "delayed physical and mental development" due to his struggle with Sickle Cell Anemia, and looks nothing like Thornton, who is described as an estranged older half brother.
In addition, the statement claims Humphrey is not tattooed, leads a life apart from Thornton, and does not share a room with Thornton. The statment also says Humphrey was severely hurt as a result of the incident, and is still in the hospital after he was discharged from the ICU on Friday.
A news conference on the incident is planned by the family, the family attorney, and Maupin for Tuesday morning, outside the Phoenix City Hall.