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Evidence expert weighs in on TPD shooting, calls it “shocking”

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 5:22 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A shocking video from Tucson Police Department as an officer fires their weapon into a suspect nine times. An evidence expert calls it “bizarre,” “not understandable” and even “ridiculous.” TPD has moved to terminate the officer.

TPD Officer Ryan Remington, a four year veteran of the department, in a body-cam and surveillance footage is shown firing his gun nine times into the back and side of Richard Lee Richards. Richards was suspected of shoplifting from the nearby Walmart and pronounced dead a short time later.

“It just doesn’t seem like the type of circumstance that warrant even any thought of deadly force,” said Scott Roder, evidence specialist and owner of Evidence Room. “I’m actually surprised that they even had their guns out of their holster.”

Roder has consulted on more than 100 officer involved shootings and use of force cases, including the George Floyd case and the PCSD SWAT raid that killed U.S. Marine veteran Jose Guerena in Pima County in 2011.

“It’s shocking behavior. I think the first thing that struck me as bizarre was the very calm nature of which it all went down,” said Roder.

He says in his opinion, after watching the footage, the officer’s action are uncalled for and indefensible.

“By all means, if a police officer tells you to stop, you should stop and submit to their inquiry. He obviously wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry in his condition, so we certainly do not have a flight risk. I don’t know how much damage someone could do in that situation,” said Roder. “They could have pulled him out of the wheelchair with one arm onto the ground, handcuffed him, the guys got a bruise on his knew, that’s it. We don’t need to use force as much as force is used.”

Roder wonders if the string of flash robberies around the nation prompted heightened security and more aggressive policing on thefts. The Tucson Police department, and the Pima County Attorney’s Office are not releasing any more information for now. Police Chief Chris Magnus, said in a news conference yesterday, the officer’s actions were a clear violation of department policy.

The community weighed in on social media, prompting Magnus to tweet, “Understandable anger & frustration concerning two recent incidents involving our dept. I appreciate those concerns. We’re working to be as responsive & transparent as possible. Thanks for feedback but I’ll block obscenity and incivility since it adds nothing to the conversation.”

The Pima County Attorney’s Office released the following statement: “PCAO, The People’s Office, holds sacred the impartial review of the facts of every incident referred to us. Once we receive the evidence in this incident, we will conduct such a review. Until such time, we will not comment further on this matter.”

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