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Phoenix Civil Service Board reinstates police officer after chief moved to fire him

Published: Friday, December 10, 2021 - 3:51pm
Updated: Friday, December 10, 2021 - 4:41pm
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A Phoenix police officer whose fatal shooting of an Ahwatukee man last year cost the city a $3 million settlement got his job back this week.

The Phoenix Civil Service Board reinstated Jeff Cooke after the police chief moved this summer to fire him.

Cooke killed Ryan Whitaker after Whitaker opened his apartment door holding a gun. Phoenix police were responding to a noise complaint.

Bodycam video appeared to show Whitaker dropping his gun and kneeling as Cooke fired.

Prosecutors declined to pursue a case against Cooke.

But Chief Jeri Williams decided Cooke should be fired based on all that happened.

The union called the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association said a department use-of-force board found the shooting was within policy, and it promised to back Cooke through an appeal process.

Now the Phoenix Police Department says the city’s Civil Service Board has reinstated Cooke and the decision is final.

A spokesperson for the city's human resources department says the Civil Service Board changed Cooke's firing to a six-week suspension, with backpay.

Law Enforcement