Michael Turley, Who Dressed Up Nephew as Terrorist to "Test" Phoenix Cops, Found Guilty
A jury found Michael Turley guilty of charges Monday related to making a movie that was produced to "test" the Phoenix Police Department's response to a terrorist situation.
Turley was arrested in September after it was discovered that he had his teenage nephew wear a sheet on his body and a towel on his head, then run around a Phoenix intersection with a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher, to see how long it took for the PPD to show up.
To Turley's credit, the video was fairly popular, getting more than a quarter-million views on YouTube.
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The Phoenix PD, however, was not impressed.
According to court documents previously obtained by New Times, Turley told his nephew "to be quick [and] that it was dangerous." Not surprisingly, the kid walking around dressed as a terrorist and carrying a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher told police he felt like he was in danger.
According to the court documents, nine separate people called 911 upon witnessing the boy in character, and numerous patrol officers, officers from Phoenix's Special Assignment Unit, and a helicopter unit ended up responding to the incident.
After detaining both of them, police were told that the two of them were just "making a movie."
Later, upon the release of the video, police had a more clear idea of what Turley was doing -- testing the PPD's response.
Here's what Turley put in the description field of the video on YouTube:
"The Anonymous Filmmaker explores how the Phoenix Police Department reacts days after the event at the Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman, James Holmes, killed 12 people and injured 58 more at the premiere of Batman The Dark Knight Rises. In our Hollywood-style video, a man resembling a terrorist paces around a busy street in Phoenix, Arizona carrying a rocket launcher until the police apprehend him. This film explores the response time and reaction of law enforcement within the Phoenix rural community. You will be shocked to see what happens."
A jury convicted Turley yesterday of endangerment and knowingly giving a false impression. His nephew faced discipline in the juvenile system.
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