Maricopa County Lawyer’s Workplace releases new proof in Dion Johnson officer-involved capturing case

0
30
Maricopa County Attorney's Office releases new evidence in Dion Johnson officer-involved shooting case

Johnson was killed on Memorial Day 2020 on the same day as George Floyd and was at the center of protests in the valley last summer.

PHOENIX – Newly released crime scene photos, interviews with officers, body camera footage and previous recordings were all things Maricopa prosecutors had to weigh before deciding not to file a criminal complaint against the DPS Trooper Police, which Dion Johnson said last year was killed.

Johnson was killed on Memorial Day 2020 on the same day as George Floyd and was at the center of protests in the valley.

Soldier George Cervantes told police he found Johnson passed out drunk in his car and blocked part of the freeway near Loop 101 and Tatum Blvd. just after 5:30 a.m.

When Cervantes went to the driver’s side window, he said he saw open containers of alcohol and a gun in the suspect’s car.

Cervantes tells investigators that he removed the gun and arrested Johnson for a DUI. When Johnson woke up, he tried to fight back.

Cervantes said he was afraid he would be pushed into traffic and fired his gun twice.

At the time, DPS did not have body cameras for any of their soldiers, but ADOT had traffic cameras and responding officers from other departments had body cameras that captured the moments after the shooting.

In the newly released evidence, body camera footage from a Scottsdale police officer shows Cervantes and another responding soldier assisting Dion Johnson.

You can hear Cervantes telling the Scottsdale officer he fired two shots and the second must have “grazed” Johnson.

The records contain additional details about Johnson’s previous arrests, including allegations of fighting with his family and assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

He was also serving prison terms for armed robbery and aggravated assault. Johnson was also listed as a noted gang member.

At the time of the shooting, he had a fines warrant for his arrest. According to records, Cervantes did not know who Johnson was or his story before filming.

Johnson’s family initially questioned response time to help him. The ADOT video shows an ambulance waiting at least two minutes before entering the scene.

New records show it took Phoenix Fire paramedics about 20 minutes to finally get Johnson to the hospital. The paramedics had to wait for the scene to be safe before helping Johnson, which is according to their protocol.

As a soldier, Cervantes has his own DPS record. During his 15 years in the department, documents show that thirteen complaints have been filed against him. Some were baseless, but he was disciplined for others, such as using his DPS taser on his family’s dog.

In September District Attorney Allister Adel announced that her office was not pursuing criminal charges against Cervantes. An internal DPS investigation was still ongoing until October.

On Monday, the DPS refused to tell 12 News whether their internal investigations against Cervantes were still ongoing. A public information officer could only say that Cervantes was still a DPS employee.

12 News also tried reaching out to the Johnson family’s new attorney but never heard back.