Mesa Police Bring In Outside Experts To Investigate Use Of Force Incidents
Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista didn’t mince words addressing recent surveillance and body camera videos showing his officers making violent arrests.
“I’m angry and I’m deeply disappointed by what I saw in those videos," Batista said. "It’s unacceptable and it needs to stop immediately.”
Batista said it was essential for Mesa police to treat members of the community with the utmost professionalism in all circumstances.
“That’s not what I saw in those videos," he said, "and that will change.”
The chief announced Mesa is bringing in outside experts to review its use of force policies.
Batista said he had hired former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley to work alongside an internal investigation.
Romley said he believes the vast majority of Mesa police officers are professionals.
“But that does not mean that there cannot be conduct that at times crosses the line," Romley said. "We have an obligation to make sure that that does not continue on and become a cultural issue within an organization.”
Romley said the review process into officers’ conduct could take several months.
In addition to hiring the former county attorney, Chief Batista commissioned the Police Executive Research Forum to review Mesa PD’s use of force incidents from the past three years.
Two arrests made in May have been referred to the Scottsdale Police Department. Scottsdale PD will decide whether or not to refer Mesa Police officers to the county attorney for criminal prosecution for their actions in those arrests.