Phoenix police chief calls on FBI to investigate officer-involved shooting caught on video

James Garcia was sitting in a car when he was shot.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams has asked the FBI to conduct a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old man killed by police during the July Fourth weekend.

The July 4 shooting of James Garcia sparked protests and calls for transparency at a time when scrutiny of police departments has soared in recent months.

"I am taking this step in the best interest of my employees, my department, and the city," Williams said in a lengthy statement. "I recognize this is a time of community distrust. I hope this step will allow our community to feel confident in the findings."

The shooting occurred as Garcia was sitting in a car parked in a driveway. On Monday, authorities released footage from a body camera worn by an officer who arrived at the scene following the shooting.

“Where’s the gun?” the arriving officer asks.

“It’s in his lap,” he is told. “He didn’t let go of it.”

“So we retrieve the gun and get him out and get him out to fire,” the officer says, apparently referring to firefighter paramedics.

In a statement to AZCentral.com, Danny Ortega, the lawyer for Garcia's family, said the Phoenix case is being watched nationally to see how Williams handles the investigation amid a number of high-profile police shootings that have triggered nationwide protests and calls to defund police departments.

"This case is getting national notoriety and we continue to call for transparency in this case like all the cases all around the country," he said. "It was a very selective video to release. That tells me that the Police Department wants to control the narrative."

Williams said she welcomes the transparency in an effort to regain the public's trust.

"I've said before and will say again that I don't fear civilian oversight or investigation of our practices from outside agencies," she said. "While I'm confident in the investigative work done by my team, I recognize the value of an unbiased outside agency in strengthening the public trust into an investigation."

She added that moving forward, the department will release body-worn video of an officer-involved shooting within 10 to 14 days after the incident.

Screengrab from bodycam footage from a police-involved shooting on July 4. (Phoenix Police Department )

Screengrab from bodycam footage from a police-involved shooting on July 4. (Phoenix Police Department )

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On Tuesday, Phoenix Councilman Carlos Garcia demanded all unedited footage from the shooting be released while voicing concerns over the department investigating its officers.

"Despite the calls from the community to end police brutality and killings, Phoenix PD continues to respond to calls with violence," he said in a statement. "Phoenix PD cannot continue to investigate itself in officer-involved shootings and police misconduct."