As the family of 14-year-old Antonio Arce demands justice, a former leader of a Phoenix police officer association says he supports the 17-year Tempe Police Department veteran who killed him.
Mark Spencer, former president of the Phoenix police union, said the body camera footage showing the officer shooting Arce is concerning, but he is still standing behind the officer’s actions.
“If that young man would have complied he'd be talking to you right now,” Spencer said.
Arce was killed in the shooting with Tempe police officer Joseph Jaen. A still image from the body camera showed the teen with an object that appears to be a weapon.
Tempe police said the object in the teen's hand turned out to be an airsoft gun.
When asked if he supports the police officer’s actions, Spence said he had to because of “due process and because we don't have everything in place.”
“Administratively we'll see if the officer is liable criminally, we'll see if the officer is liable,” he said.
But the teen's family says they want justice for their son.
"We demand a full investigation and there are consequences to what happened and that everyone who is guilty pays for what they did," Arce’s father said.
Community members gathered over the weekend to lay flowers and candles right where Arce collapsed after being shot. Some even waved signs into the evening hours trying to help alleviate financial burdens on the family.
Funeral services for Arce are set to take place this week. His parents are also planning a press conference in the next couple of days.