Recorded on video fatally shooting a disabled man riding a mobility scooter, an Arizona police officer was recently fired for violating department policy.
Shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, a Walmart employee notified Tucson Police Officer Ryan Remington, who was working off-duty security at the store, that 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards, who was in a mobility scooter, allegedly stole a toolbox from the store. When Remington confronted Richards and asked to see his receipt, Richards reportedly pulled out a knife and responded, “Here’s your receipt.”
According to surveillance video, Remington followed Richards into the parking lot while calling for an on-duty police officer to arrive. As Richards approached the entrance of a Lowe’s Hardware Store, Officer Stephanie Taylor exited her patrol car and ran towards the suspect.
Officer Taylor began ordering Richards to stop when Remington suddenly fired nine shots at him from close range, according to Taylor’s body cam video and Lowe’s surveillance footage. In the videos, Remington never made an attempt to use nonlethal techniques such as deploying a Taser, pepper spray, or incapacitating Richards’ mobility scooter.
“Officers rendered medical care, but a short time later Mr. Richards was declared dead,” Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus stated during a news conference on Tuesday.
Chief Magnus added, “His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force and training.”
Magnus confirmed that Remington had been terminated from the department for violating department policy. The case is under review by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.
“The actions of the officer involved in last night’s deadly shooting are unconscionable and indefensible,” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said on Tuesday. “The County Attorney’s Office has my full support as they proceed with their investigation. It is moments like this that test our resolve to ensure justice and accountability. We owe this to all Tucsonans. I ask our community to remain calm and be patient as investigations ensue.”
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