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Phoenix police officer who shot, killed Ryan Whitaker likely to be fired

The Phoenix Police Department announced they intend to move forward with ending Officer Jeff Cooke's employment. The administrative process is underway.

PHOENIX — The process is underway to terminate the employment of a Phoenix police officer more than a year after he shot and killed an Ahwatukee man.

Ryan Whitaker, 40, was shot and killed by Officer Jeff Cooke during a domestic disturbance call at his apartment in May 2020. 

Cooke was put on administrative leave following the shooting and officials said he will stay on leave until the process of his termination is done.  

The county attorney said body camera footage from the shooting showed Whitaker answered the door with a gun but looked like he tried to put the gun down before being shot.

However, there was not enough evidence to support criminal charges against Cooke, according to prosecutors. 

Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Michael London issued this statement in response to the Phoenix Police Department's decision to fire Cooke: 

"The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is disappointed in the decision by the Phoenix Police Department to terminate Officer Jeff Cooke due to a shooting deemed in-policy by the Department’s Use of Force Board and will support him through the appeal process."

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