CHANDLER, Ariz. — Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced Thursday her office won't file criminal charges against the Chandler police officer who shot and killed a 17-year-old boy in January 2021.
Officer Chase Bebak-Miller won't be prosecuted in court for causing the death of Anthony Cano last year.
Mitchell said the charging decision was a difficult one to make and required her to review the body-worn camera footage several times.
"Today is not an easy day," said Mitchell, who became the county's top prosecutor following Allister Adel's death earlier this year.
Cano's death is heartbreaking, Mitchell said, but the officer's actions did not violate the law.
Mitchell says she reached the decision based on three questions.
Did Cano pose an immediate threat to the officer?
Did he resist arrest? What was the severity of the alleged crime?
Family members of Cano say they were not shocked, or surprised by the decision. "Of course, we all hope for something different when you lose somebody at the hands of another individual," said Cano's aunt, Eva Cano.
The teenager was riding his bicycle on the night of Jan. 2 when the officer attempted to stop him for a traffic violation, police have previously said.
Cano attempted to flee from Bebak-Miller and ran toward Gazelle Meadows Park. The teenager was shot twice in the back.
Police body camera footage shows Cano tossing a gun away from himself during the pursuit.
Bebak-Miller can be heard in the camera footage saying he saw Cano drop a gun on the ground before he shot Cano.
The city of Chandler later paid a $1.1 million settlement to Cano's family.
The teenager's family has previously said they wished for the officer to be terminated and criminally prosecuted.
"We've lost a lot of faith and trust in the police system and the police department. They're not the only people responsible for the outcome," said Cano's cousin, Marcus Cano.
It's quite rare for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to file criminal charges against police officers.
Out of the 54 officer-involved shooting cases submitted to MCAO in 2020, nearly all have been cleared with no criminal charges and some are still awaiting a decision, public records show.
Chandler police did not comment on the decision, and would not says if Bebak-Miller is back on active duty.
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