The Maricopa County Attorney's Office today announced that the officer involved in last week's shooting of an unarmed domestic violence suspect has been charged with murder.
If you're unfamiliar with the case click here. It's nuts.
The county attorney also provided some background on the accused officer, 37-year-old Richard Chrisman, including a little video of him planting a crack pipe on a woman in an unrelated incident.
It's pretty blatant. Check out the video after the jump.
County Attorney Rick Romley says the amount of evidence against Chrisman is what caused his office to up the charge from only aggravated assault to second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and cruelty to animals.
"There was a totality of evidence that came my way that led me to believe this is the appropriate charge," Romley said at a press conference this morning.
Chrisman is currently free on bond and Romely says he won't be re-arrested on the new charges -- something attorney Michael Manning, who represents the family of the victim, 29-year-old Danny Rodriguez, says he will ask Romley to reconsider.
Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris supports Romley's decision and says there's a good chance Chrisman will be fired from the department before he even goes to trial. He says he will meet with Chrisman in the next few days to give him a chance to present his case as to why he should be allowed to keep his job.
We also found out today that this isn't the first time Chrisman's been in trouble with the department. He is on the Brady List (a list of cops known to have lied under oath) for planting a crack pipe on a woman during an arrest. Harris claims it was done basically just to mess with her.
The incident was caught on tape. Check it out below (that's Chrisman cavalierly swingin' his criminal beater -- despite there being no apparent reason for him to use it).
Phoenix Sergeant Tommy Thompson tells New Times the woman in the video was being arrested for an outstanding warrant. It was determined that Chrisman and the other officers planted the pipe to "get a response" from the woman, not to frame her for a crime.
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Chief Harris says Chrisman was only suspended for one day.
Thompson says he's not sure whether such a short suspension for something like this is standard procedure in the department because, he says, he can't remember a time before when it's happened.
Either way, it's a disgusting abuse of power and Chrisman got off easy. That might be part of the reason he felt justified in shooting an unarmed man and his dog.
Chrisman's arraignment is scheduled for October 21.