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Family Of James Garcia, Man Shot And Killed By Police, Responds To Phoenix Police Video

By Mark Brodie
Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 12:41pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 12:59pm

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MARK BRODIE: Phoenix police have released a second so-called Critical Incident Briefing about the shooting death of James Garcia  on Independence Day. This one shows officers firing at the 28-year-old as he sat in a car park in a Maryvale driveway. Garcia's mother and sister have reacted to the report, they did that [July 21]. And for more about what they had to say, I'm joined by KJZZ's Matthew Casey. Hey, Matt.

MATTHEW CASEY: Good morning, Mark.

BRODIE: So can you first off describe this newest video produced by Phoenix P.D.?

CASEY: The new video is nearly 12 minutes long. It shows an officer and a sergeant asking Garcia to get out of the car and explaining why — that there had been report of a stabbing at or, at or near that house. And this is how the conversation with the sergeant ends:

POLICE SERGEANT: You're going to be removed from the vehicle if you don't get out of the car. Do you understand that?

CASEY: So the new video also has body camera footage from the two officers who shot at Garcia. They drew their guns when one said that he saw Garcia had a gun. It does not, again, does not show Garcia actually holding a gun. He's in the car with tinted windows and it's really hard to see inside.

BRODIE: So how is this different from the first video released in the days after Garcia died?

CASEY: Well, it's a lot — the first video was much shorter. It was less than three minutes. Just under three minutes. And the first video had body camera footage from after police had stopped shooting. It came from an officer who runs up to the driver's side window and pulls a handgun out of the car. Days after that first video was released, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams asked the FBI to investigate the shooting.

BRODIE: So what was the Garcia family's response to this latest video?

CASEY: Well, they say it's not complete and total transparency. They want to see everything. Garcia's mom and sister were joined by the head of the activist group Poder in Action, who pointed out that these briefings are produced by Phoenix P.D. and they get to control the message. The new video shows Garcia giving fake names to officers. Phoenix, Phoenix police point out that Garcia appears to tell them to shoot him. And you can see him mouth those words. His sister, Jacqueline Fernandez, wants to know if there was a dash cam video from a police vehicle that was parked sort of bumper-to-bumper in front of the car her brother was in. Fernandez and her mother gave brief statements to the media outside the Maryvale precinct [July 21]. And you can hear the news trucks running in the background.

JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ: The story that they're portraying my brother to be some bad person, it's, it's all false. And those body cams and that camera from that truck, it's gonna give us the truth.

BRODIE: All right, so, Matt, you and the KJZZ team will also be digging more into this and other law enforcement stories in an upcoming project called Boiling Point. We'll be looking forward to that. That is KJZZ's Matthew Casey. Thank you, Matt.

CASEY: Thank you, Mark.

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