There are new disturbing allegations against Phoenix police officers, who a man says tied him up and dragged him, leaving him bruised and confused.
Twenty-three-year-old AaRone Fowler recalls an altercation with police near 16th and Monroe Streets in the early morning hours of March 17.
“I could barely breathe,” he said. “I was inhaling dirt in my face. My whole right side of my face is to the ground and on top of that they were on my back and on my legs.”
Fowler says he was picking up a friend when the altercation started. Police told him they were responding to a noise complaint and asked for his ID. He says after officers told him he was free to go, he noticed one of the officers pulling on his car doors.
“I hear the officer scream a code at me and he charged at me, one grabbed my leg, the second officer came from behind, grabbed me as well, they bent both my legs,” said Fowler. “He was rubbing my face toward the ground… he said don’t resist, but I wasn’t able to move. I was completely pinned by the two officers.”
Fowler says he asked the officers not to kill him, because he got scared.
“I didn’t know what I did,” he said.
He says police told him his car was stolen, but it wasn’t. Fowler says after officers searched his car and found his registration with his name on it, then released him.
“I was told, go home and that’s where I feel that my rights were violated as a human,” he said.
He says he didn’t do anything to break the law.
“It’s not okay,” said Fowler.
Fowler was never cited or charged with anything. Phoenix police immediately launched an internal investigation. It’s still unclear whether the officers remain on duty, but Fowler says he does plan to sue.
Police say the vehicle was a valid stolen vehicle, but the theft was based on failure to meet financial obligations by the buyer, who was one of the two men.
Because of that, the officers elected to release the two men and towed the vehicle.
Investigators want to speak with both Fowler and the other man, however they have refused their attempts made thus far to contact them.
Phoenix police released the following information on the incident on Wednesday, March 20:
On March 17, 2019, at approximately 3:00 a.m., Phoenix Police Officers responded to a call of a fight in the area of 16th Street and Monroe Street. Prior to the officers’ arrival, more information was received and the call was upgraded to a physical fight between two men. When the officers arrived, they found a vehicle stopped in the roadway with the hazard lights on. The officers attempted to contact two men outside of the vehicle, who refused to talk to them before contacting an attorney. The men started to walk away. Because the car was in the roadway, the officers said they would have to tow it. The two men walked back, arguing with the officers, stating they couldn’t tow the vehicle. At that time, a records check revealed the car was an outstanding stolen vehicle from Scottsdale, Arizona.
The officers attempted to detain both men, who refused to comply with the officers’ directions and a struggle ensued. One of the individuals was taken to the ground before he could be detained. When the struggle was over and both men were detained, the officers contacted the Scottsdale Police Department. At that time it was determined the vehicle was a valid stolen vehicle, however, the theft was based upon failure to meet financial obligations by the purchaser, who was one of the two men. Because of that, the officers elected to release the two men and towed the vehicle.
Because of allegations, the Professional Standards Bureau of the Phoenix Police Department is investigating this incident. Investigators would like to speak with both men, who have refused the attempts made thus far to contact them.