Phoenix Police Department submits investigation of Dion Johnson shooting to Maricopa County Attorney's Office

The Phoenix Police Department says it has completed its investigation into the trooper-involved shooting that killed Dion Johnson and submitted it to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Police presented the findings on July 7, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will review them to determine whether criminal charges are warranted in the death of Dion Johnson, 28.

Johnson was killed the same day that George Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck, and protesters in Arizona have decried both killings.

The deadly shooting happened on the morning of May 25, in an area near Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard.

According to a statement released by Phoenix police, a trooper was patrolling in the area when he saw a car parked in the gore point, creating a traffic hazard. Johnson, 28, was found passed out in the driver's seat when the trooper made initial contact.

"The trooper smelled an odor of alcohol, saw beer cans and a gun in the vehicle," read a portion of the statement. The trooper then removed the gun from the car, returned to his motorcycle, and requested backup.

The trooper took the gun out of the car and then tried to arrest Johnson for driving while intoxicated, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Maggie Cox. During the attempted arrest, Johnson grabbed onto the trooper through the open driver-side door, resulting in an altercation.

"The Trooper was pulled toward the vehicle, while standing adjacent to the eastbound travel lanes of the freeway," read a portion of the statement.

Police say the trooper told investigators that during the struggle, he feared he would be pushed into oncoming traffic. The trooper took out his gun and ordered Johnson to follow his commands. Johnson did so until the trooper began holstering his gun. Johnson then grabbed for it and the trooper opened fire, striking Johnson, Cox said.


Family wants answers after Arizona DPS trooper fatally shoots Dion Johnson

Phoenix Police officials have released more information surrounding the shooting death of Dion Johnson.

A second trooper who later arrived at the scene helped in removing Johnson from the vehicle. The two officers, who have not been identified, did not have body cameras on them and their motorcycles were not outfitted with dash-cam video.

The FBI said they, along with the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, are reviewing all available evidence to determine what federal response is warranted.

Trooper involved identified by DPS

DPS officials on July 8 identified the trooper involved in the shooting as George Cervantes, a 15-year veteran who remains on administrative leave.

Police said the trooper was not wearing a body camera and there was no dash camera because he was riding a motorcycle.

Cervantes said he was attempting to arrest Johnson on accusations of driving while intoxicated and he opened fire after Johnson tried to grab the trooper’s gun during a struggle, according to police.

The trooper said he had removed a gun from the car while Johnson was still asleep or passed out, police have said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.