Phoenix officers fatally shoot man throwing rocks at police and cars; Notice of Claim filed against police

Phoenix Police is at the center of another use of force controversy, following a shooting in September that resulted in the death of Ali Osman.

The incident happened in the area of 19th Avenue and Tuckey Lane, which is located south of the intersection of Glendale Avenue.

So far, there have been 19 police shootings in Phoenix for 2022, which is six more than 2021's total. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating the Phoenix Police Department, looking into claims that there is a pattern of officers violating residents' constitutional rights, including engaging in discriminatory policing and using excessive force.

Timeline and latest updates

October 14

We have obtained documents that shows a Notice of Claim being filed against Phoenix Police in connection with the incident.

According to the Notice of Claim, members of Osman's family are accusing Phoenix Police of Excessive Force in violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Violation of Equal Protection fo the law under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Wrongful Death, Excessive Force, Battery, and negligence.

Under the Notice of Claim, members of Osman's family are seeking $85 million for "contemporary damages, loss of income and services, medical fees and expenses, funeral and burial expenses, travel expenses, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, lost of enjoyment of life, attorney fees and punitive damages."

"If this offer is ignored or rejected, Claimants have authorized us to pursue legal action and seek the maximum recovery permitted by law, including an award for punitive damages," read a portion of the Notice of Claim.

The Osman family has said, on previous occasions, that they plan on filing a lawsuit against Phoenix Police.

October 7

(The video may be disturbing for some due to use of foul language and graphic imagery. Viewer discretion is advised)

Phoenix Police released body camera video from the incident, in the form of a critical incident briefing.

In earlier parts of the video, officers were initially heard talking about the rock-throwing incident, and one of the officers, as they entered a police patrol vehicle, was heard uttering an expletive as they entered a police vehicle.

In another portion of the video, officers were seen telling Osman to drop the rock before Osman apparently made throwing motion, and that was when an officer fired on Osman. After the shooting, Osman was seen moving on the ground, and officers were heard telling Osman to stay down on the ground.

Officers were later seen providing medical aid to Osman, and requested additional help from the fire department. The officers involved in the shooting were identified as a two-year veteran and a two-and-a-half-year veteran of Phoenix Police.

Phoenix Police officials said the rock-throwing incident that preceded the officer-involved shooting resulted in damages to two police vehicles. Police also collected rocks at the scene that ranged, in weight, from 2.9 oz to 19.8 oz.

The incident, according to police officials, is now the subject of both an internal and a criminal investigation.

Osman's family members, as well as Smith, said they are outraged and disgusted by the officers' actions.

"I've watched the video, and I just can’t believe it myself," said Osman's brother. "It just makes absolutely no sense."

"He was throwing rocks. He should be in jail, not in a graveyard," said Smith. "Lowering the standard of use of force to protect thin-skinned officers that do not need to be in the profession. If you can't handle someone throwing a rock at you, and you make a conscience and reasonable decision that they don’t need to be shot, you need to go find another profession."

We have reached out to Phoenix Police for response to the attorney's comments, and they said that the case "is still subject of both a criminal and internal investigation. Information related to this incident has been released to everyone who placed a records request for it."

September 29

Smith said an independent pathologist has conducted an autopsy on Osman.

"All of the bullet holes are to the neck area of Mr. Osman," said Smith. "One on the right there may be a double impact center mass, one to the left."

September 27

Osman's family members spoke out about the incident, while at the same time demanding answers.

Family members say Osman had no criminal history, and suffered from bipolar disorder, for which he was being treated.

"We need justice for Ali," said Osman's sister, Halima Osman. "What the officer tells me and what I see on the news is not much. When the officer called me, he told me Ali was shot in the chest."

Osman, according to family members, is from Tucson, and was visiting family in Phoenix on the night of the incident.

"It's just wrong what they did. They keep telling us different stories. It just doesn’t add up," said Osman's niece, Ikram Aden. "We didn’t even receive an apology from them. They try to make it seem like he was in the wrong, but I know that my uncle isn’t that type of person."

"He was throwing rocks," said attorney Quacy Smith. "We don’t shoot people down in the streets that are throwing rocks. It’s unacceptable, and we need answers."

Osman and his family reportedly moved to Arizona from Somalia when Osman was 14. He later became an American citizen. Osman's family believes he was targeted by police because he was black and a person of Islamic faith.

"It's taken a lot from me," said close friend Loay Alyousfi. "You're taking a brother from me, which hurts a lot, so I just hope he gets justice."

September 24

Officers were leaving the scene of an unrelated incident at around 7:00 p.m. when their cars were allegedly struck "by unknown items causing damage."

The officers later returned to the intersection, where they found Osman.

"They pulled in to contact this individual. The officer exited his vehicle, the individual continued to throw rocks at the officer. The officer gave commands to stop. One rock was thrown, [and] as the individual was preparing to throw the second rock, that's when the officer-involved shooting occurred," said Sgt. Brian Bower with the Phoenix Police Department.

"Turned in the parking lot, heard four shots - pow pow pow pow," said Ron Dawlatzai, who was in the area when the shooting happened.

Dawlatzai said he saw Osman throwing rocks, and later saw him lying on the ground.

"Heart started racing," said Dawlatzai. "I was worried about the guy that was shot because we had just seen him, He looked like a normal guy, wasn't doing anything crazy, just had some rock, and was throwing them, and they had a shotgun pointed at him, had weapons pulled on him, and he had no weapons that I could see."

Osman later died from his injuries at the hospital.

No officers were hurt.

The shooting has left some living in the area wondering about safety. One man who has lived in the area for 25 years says he is considering a move.

"My wife feels unsafe in the neighborhood," said Christopher Stubbs. "We have a dog. We like to walk, and I walk the dog because she doesn't want to get the dog out and walk the dog."

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