Officer who fatally shot Ryan Whitaker in the back has been fired by Phoenix police.
According to reports, an officer who fatally shot Ryan Whitaker, 40, in the back last summer will be fired by the Phoenix Police Department.
Officer Jeff Cooke shot Whitaker twice in the back in May 2020, little than three seconds after he answered the door of his Ahwatukee condominium.
Whitaker answered the door with a revolver at his side while police were responding to a noise complaint. His family claimed he did so in response to a previous incident with someone hammering on their door late at night.
When Whitaker saw the officers at the entrance, he swiftly moved the gun behind his back, according to body camera footage. As Whitaker backs up and lifts his hands in the air, the responding officers scream “hands.”
Whitaker, a father, then squats down and places his gun-wielding hand on the floor.
Cooke fires three shots at that point, and Whitaker falls forward into the path. Whitaker’s gun was eventually discovered inches from the entryway inside the flat.
Cooke’s job has been terminated, according to a statement released by the police department on Thursday, however the officer will remain on administrative leave until he is officially removed from the force.
“On May 26, 2021, the Use of Force Board, which is made up of sworn officers and community members, evaluated the shooting of Officer Jeff Cooke and recommended that it be classified as within policy. “Following an exhaustive assessment of the facts, Chief Williams has informed Officer Cooke of his intent to terminate his employment with the Phoenix Police Department,” according to the statement. “The administrative procedure is still being completed. Officer Cooke has been placed on administrative leave in the meantime.”
Cooke will be able to challenge the decision of the police chief to terminate him.
Meanwhile, Cooke’s partner at the time of the event, Officer John Ferragamo, is still on duty, according to the Arizona Republic.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in October at the Maricopa County District Attorney’s office in the aftermath of the tragic shooting. Later that year, Whitaker’s family agreed to a $3 million settlement, which was unanimously accepted by Phoenix City Council.
Cooke would not face any charges in the incident, according to Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel, who announced the decision in January. This is a condensed version of the information.