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Police board chooses not to take action against former Mesa cop for 2019 shooting

Nathan Chisler lost his job at the Mesa Police Department after shooting a man in 2019. A state police board voted Wednesday to not take action against Chisler.

MESA, Ariz. — Editor's Note: The video above is from an earlier broadcast.

A state review board has declined to discipline a former Mesa police officer accused of shooting an unarmed civilian outside a sports bar in 2019. 

Officer Nathan Chisler was terminated from the Mesa Police Department after he fired his weapon at Randy Sewell as officers were attempting to detain him for disorderly conduct. 

Body-worn camera footage shows officers attempting to use non-lethal methods to arrest Sewell before he was shot in the leg in the parking lot outside Ojos Locos Sports Cantina. 

Sewell survived and was later charged with resisting arrest. A Maricopa County jury acquitted Sewell in August 2021, court records show.

Prosecutors filed an aggravated assault charge against Chisler, which was later dismissed by a judge for a lack of probable cause. It's rare for prosecutors in Arizona to file criminal charges for officer-involved shootings. 

After his termination, Chisler's case was referred to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which has the authority to suspend or revoke an officer's certification. 

The board typically reprimands an officer accused of misconduct by taking away their ability to work for a law enforcement agency in Arizona. 

On Wednesday, the AZPOST board voted to not proceed with taking disciplinary action against Chisler and referred the case back to Mesa for the agency to handle at its discretion. 

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Heston Silbert, an AZPOST board member, said Wednesday he didn't feel it was the board's role to review Chisler's case.

"I don't know if this guy was right or wrong," he said. "That's up to Mesa PD to figure out."

AZPOST officials said Chisler is in the process of challenging his termination. 

The state board often punishes police officers caught lying, falsifying reports, or committing inappropriate conduct while on the job. 

During Wednesday's meeting, the board voted to open a disciplinary case against an officer from Superior accused of using excessive physical force against a civilian. What distinguished that case from Chisler's was the fact that the Superior cop allegedly used force to make an unwarranted arrest.   

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