Chandler Officer Who Shot, Killed Anthony Cano, 17, Won’t Face Charges

The Chandler police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Anthony Cano in January 2021 is not going to face fees, Maricopa County legal professional Rachel Mitchell introduced at a somber press convention on Thursday.

Cano’s demise final yr sparked weeks of protests, demanding motion towards the lone officer who had pursued him, Chase Bebak-Miller. During that point, the Chandler Police Department performed its personal inner investigation, which it handed to the county to overview and decide whether or not felony fees had been warranted.

Mitchell mentioned Thursday that she concluded there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction” within the case, and that Bebak-Miller is not going to face fees. The officer stays on the pressure.

“Today is not an easy day,” Mitchell mentioned on the opening of the press convention. She had empathy for the “parents who lost a son, and family who lost a family member,” she mentioned. But, Mitchell continued, she didn’t assume Bebak-Miller’s actions that night time had been unreasonable, the authorized customary to deliver fees towards a police officer for pressure.

In an announcement Thursday, legal professional Julie Gunnigle, who’s vying for the county legal professional’s seat within the November election, sharply criticized the choice. It was a “gross failure of justice for a family mourning the death of their child,” she mentioned. It confirmed that the workplace, she mentioned, was “driven by allegiance to law enforcement cronies over the right of Arizona families to have their day in court.”

The Cano case was the primary high-profile police violence case that Mitchell has selected throughout her tenure, and it possible will show divisive. Cano’s household, and protesters, have known as for felony fees towards Bebak-Miller for greater than a yr.

Cano was using a bicycle down a Chandler boulevard on January 2, 2021, the night time he was shot. Bebak-Miller was in his police cruiser, and noticed Cano. The officer mentioned he initiated a pursuit as a result of Cano did not have rear reflectors on his bike, and was using erratically within the highway. He was not suspected of any crime.

When Bebak-Miller flashed his lights, Cano deserted his bike and fled on foot into a close-by park. He had a Glock pistol in his pocket, which the officer noticed. Body-worn digital camera footage exhibits the pistol fall and Cano grabbing it and tossing it. Then, Bebak-Miller shoots as soon as, and Cano falls, and once more, whereas he is on the bottom, the gun mendacity out of attain. Both pictures had been to Cano’s again.

As Cano lay wounded, he instructed Bebak-Miller that he had tried to throw the gun to keep away from getting shot. Bebak-Miller instructed him that this was “stupid.” When one other officer arrived, the 2 handcuffed Cano. He wouldn’t die for one more three weeks — January 23 — whereas nonetheless within the hospital.

Mitchell mentioned she “questioned the reasonableness of the second shot,” however she determined, finally, that it was an affordable motion, citing that solely two seconds handed between the firing of the rounds. She additionally claimed the body-worn digital camera footage exhibits that Cano “appears to turn back toward Officer Bebak-Miller with his gun in his right hand” earlier than he drops the pistol.

But although the physique digital camera footage is shaky and blurred, it is clear Cano doesn’t ever level the gun at Bebak-Miller.

When a reporter requested what Mitchell would say to Cano’s household, Mitchell mentioned she had spoken to Cano’s mom and that there was “‘nothing that I could say that would assuage her grief.”

The Cano case is the second extremely anticipated charging determination that MCAO has launched within the month since Mitchell took workplace. Earlier this month, the workplace introduced fees within the case of Charles Ryan, the previous director of Arizona’s jail system who drunkenly pointed a gun at officers responding to a name at his Tempe dwelling. He faces disorderly conduct and gun fees.

Mitchell acknowledged the size of time the workplace had taken to deliberate on the Cano case — greater than a yr — and mentioned she had “inherited a backlog of officer-involved shooting reviews” from her predecessor, Allister Adel.

Adel, who died April 30 at age 45, had confronted criticism for sluggish motion on circumstances throughout her tenure, notably police use-of-force circumstances. Understaffing on the workplace, nonetheless, performed a job within the delays, as Mitchell has acknowledged. Whether that can change below her administration stays to be seen.

Mitchell claimed on Monday that she is making progress and “chipping away” at these circumstances, although the image might be clearer subsequent month, when the workplace releases information about its progress.

Last yr, the town of Chandler paid a $1.1 million settlement to Cano’s household in two lawsuits over his demise.

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