Phoenix Police chief, assistant chiefs facing calls to resign amid ongoing DOJ investigation

Dozens of upset people lashed out at Phoenix city leaders during a public meeting on Tuesday which focused on two major cases – one, the false gang charges reportedly filed against protestors last year, and second, the challenge coin created by Phoenix Police officers which mocks protestors.

Phoenix city manager Ed Zuercher and police chief Jeri Williams issued disciplines and demotions, policy changes and initiated special investigations into officer misconduct.

Some residents who don't believe that’s not enough are calling for chief Williams and several other police personnel to be fired.

The calls come weeks after an independent investigation found several cases of misconduct by Phoenix officers, concluding a department-wide failure of communication, and after the Department of Justice launched its probe into the department.

"They wrongfully arrested us. I was looking at 46 years in prison. I would not have gotten out until I was 72 and you guys are talking about police morale? This is absolutely outrageous. How does she still have a job? She needs to be fired, Zuercher needs to be fired, Doug McBride needs to be fired," said Marisa who was arrested while protesting.

Phoenix protestor, Jacob Raiford, who once faced false gang charges, was among dozens of residents demanding more action.

They say reorganizing and creating new policies and procedures within the Phoenix Police Department doesn’t hold officers accountable.

"We need to see the removal of Jeri Williams immediately. We need to see the assistant chiefs removed entirely, not just demoted," Raiford said.

Chief Williams was suspended for one day for being unaware of the controversial challenge coin, which mocked a protestor who was hit in the groin with a rubber bullet.

The coin was reportedly created and distributed among Phoenix officers.

City manager, Zuercher, said about the coin, "They should never have been used in this form."

He has asked the Tucson Police Department to conduct an independent investigation to track down the officers involved in the challenge coin.

The Tucson Police Department says it's still considering the request.

Sal DiCiccio, a Phoenix City Councilmember, said, "Too much effort debating a coin when there are bigger issues facing us. Mayor, I think this is all crazy."

Raiford says having the Tucson Police Department investigating is like "washing blood with blood."

The city manager says he’s asked several agencies to head the independent investigation into the challenge coin, and so far only the Tucson Police Department has entertained the offer.

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