Saturday, October 10, 2009

More Racial Profiling in Maricopa County: Cop Shoots Latino Homeowner 6 Times Then Tries to Cover Up 911 Call

In Maricopa County, Anthony and Lesley Arambula called 911 to report an armed intruder "crashed through the front window" of their home and ran into one of their son's bedrooms. Latino homeowner Anthony Arambula, worried about his son who was still in his bedroom, says he "held the intruder calmly at gunpoint" and called 911.

Before Phoenix Police officers approached the house, Anthony's wife, Lesley, told Sgt. Sean Coutts her husband was inside holding the intruder at gunpoint. Inside the house, White Officer Brian Lilly shot (Latino) Anthony six times in the BACK while he was still on the phone with the 911 operator - twice when he was on the ground.

The officers ran into the bedroom after Anthony told them, "You just killed (me)... you just killed the homeowner. The bad guy is in there." The complaint states that Officer Lilly "admitted that it was only AFTER Tony was laying, bullet-ridden, on the ground that he assessed the situation. The 911 tape continued to record what happened even after Officer Lilly unloaded his weapon into Tony, including Officer Lilly's post-shooting, one-word 'assessment': 'Fuck.'

"Tony believed he was going to die; the 911 tape records his plaintive goodbye to his family: '... I love you ... I love you.' Then Tony made what he believed was a dying request to the officers; he did not want his young family to see him shot and bloodied. Officers callously ignored his request and painfully DRAGGED Tony BY HIS INJURED LEG, through the home and out to his backyard patio, where they left him bloodied and shot right IN FRONT of Lesley, AND HIS YOUNG SONS Matthew and Zachary."

The officers later DRAGGED Anthony onto gravel, then put him on top of the hot hood of a squad car, and "drove the squad car down the street with Tony lying on top, writhing in pain." According to the complaint, Lilly can be heard on the 911 tape telling Coutts, "We fucked up." Lilly says on the tape that he did not know where Anthony's gun was when he shot him and that he "opened fire because he heard loud noises and saw someone who looked like he might be the 'HISPANIC' male they were pursuing" before getting to the Arambulas' house, according to the complaint. The complaint states: "Sgt. Coutts knew that officers has just shot up and likely killed an INNOCENT homeowner and the husband of Lesley, with whom he had spoken BEFORE entering the home, instead of the armed intruder. Sgt. Coutts was quick to commence the COVER-UP of their terrible mistake. Sgt. Coutts asked Office Lilly where Tony's gun was at the time Officer Lilly had opened fire on Tony. Officer Lilly admitted that he did not know where Tony's gun was: 'I don't know. I heard screaming and I fired.'" Lilly later LIED and told a police internal affairs investigator that Anthony had pointed his gun in his direction, "in the 'ready' position," the complaint states. But Anthony Arambula says he was facing away from the officers, who could not have even seen his gun.

The complaint continues: "Still not knowing that he is being recorded on the 911 tape, Sgt. Coutts interrupted Officer Lilly's admission and apology with his assurance that the cover-up would commence: 'That's all right. Don't worry about it. I GOT YOUR BACK. ... We clear?'"

After the shooting, the Phoenix Police Department treated them "like suspects in a drug bust," denying Lesley, Michael and Zachary information about Anthony's condition and denying friends and family members access to him at the hospital.

Anthony Arambula survived, but continues to suffer pain, which he expects will last for the rest of his life. The Arambulas have filed a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix. Officer Lilly, Sgt. Coutts and Officer Dzenan Ahmetovic are named as defendants. The Arambulas seek punitive damages for gross negligence, civil rights violations, failure to supervise, excessive force, deliberate indifference to medical needs, false arrest, and emotional distress. Tony Arambula may still need to have a hand amputated, and "doctors have told him to expect a lifetime of pain and arthritis..." in his wrist and knee. Another source of pain is Arambula's hip -- surgeons busted it apart to obtain material for a bone graft in his wrist.
Note: They should ALSO be charged with a HATE CRIME!!

Family Says 911 Tape Caught Cops Planning Cover-Up After Shooting


Proletariat Defender said...

I live here in the Greater Phoenix area- and I believe the article is misleading.

Phoenix PD (the agency involved in the shooting) has been at odds with Sheriff Joe and the MCSO in general.

The problem arises from one factor mostly: the dispatcher didn't communicate well enough to the officers that the home owner had the suspect at gun point.

So, when the officers entered a home knowing that a possibly armed suspect was inside, stumble across a man with little time to react (quite often 1 second between life or your family getting a phone call saying you died on duty) the officer shot. 6 rounds fired in 2 or less seconds is not as extreme as it sounds.

It was unfortunate, but not a rare occurrence as one may think.

As far as the 'Hispanic' part-
Ever been to Phoenix or read the news from Phoenix? Statistically speaking, that part of town is predominately Hispanic.

Kinda like looking for a white guy in Sweden.....

concerned American said...

WTH? How could this incident be a case of racial profiling when the officers said they were pursuing a hispanic male prior to this incident whom the victim of this incident resembled? They were BOTH hispanic!!!

Nowhere in the article did it mention racial profiling and none of the charges filed by the victim mentioned any racial profiling. The victim would have also included that if it were the case.

Please explain your twist on this story if you can.

Dee said...

Here's the issue. The WIFE talked to the sargeant prior to the police entering the home and explained the situation.
Additionally, ALL admit the police officer DID NOT follow his training and SHOT FIRST. I will to CA re: the racial profiling aspect.

And Lastly, THERE WAS NO EXCUSE for the police, after the fact, to literally DRAG Mr. Arambula BY HIS FOOT and LAY HIM ON THE HOT CAR when they KNEW at this point he was the Homeowner as evidenced in the 911 tape when they exchanged the words "Oh Fxxx" and response "Don't worry I got your back."

This HAD TO BE EXCRUCIATING for Mrs. Arambula and their sons to witness especially when they told them HE WAS THE HOMEOWNER!!


Dee said...

Oh great. What an excuse. That area of Phoenix is predominantly hispanic so it was ok to shoot the homeowner.. understandable mistake.

I'm sure the residents of Wichita, KS would have understood if they went in and shot all the middle aged, fat white guys when they went out to capture BTK since Wichita is predominantly middle aged white fat guys! Some Logic!!


I firmly believe it is NOT SAFE to be in Maricopa County if you are brown/Latino. I have many readers who will attest to that. I REFUSE to even drive through the area as I have in the past....No Way!! Not with those gun happy cops around!

Dee said...

My Blogger Friend George Velez, a war veteran, and who lives in Maricopa County, wrote this letter to Janet Napolitano when she was governor:

Dee said...

Additionally, when this story was earlier discussed, the 911 tape was NOT available/provided. The COPS LIED and tried to cover this up.

The 911 tapes PROVE the LIE and PROVE the Cover Up.


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