A police officer is under investigation after he threatened to assassinate the mayor of Phoenix in a dispute over taxpayer funding in his department.
According to the Arizona Republic: “On the afternoon of October 21, seven Phoenix police officers gathered for a briefing in a Cave Creek station when the meeting diverged into a discussion about the defund-the-police movement. When Officer Steven Poulos expressed his thoughts, the room went quiet: “If the mayor defunds the police, I’m going to shoot her,” Poulos’ sergeant recalled hearing the officer say, referring to Mayor Kate Gallego.”
The sergeant reportedly replied, “you’re not going to shoot the mayor.”
Poulos allegedly responded, “that’s a promise.”
The new papers also noted that other officers had slightly different recollections.
One officer reportedly remembered, “If they defund us, the first person on my list is the mayor.”
Another officer recalled, “If they defund the police, I’ll go over the mayor’s house and shoot it up.”
Poulos reportedly told his sergeant after the meeting that he was only joking about shooting the mayor.
The newspaper reported that “the comments, whether made in jest or not, were taken seriously. The Phoenix Police Department asked Tempe police to criminally investigate the case. Phoenix police also opened an internal affairs investigation to determine if Poulos violated any policies. That report has not been released.” The newspaper said, “the Tempe police detective has forwarded the report to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which will decide if it will prosecute Poulos. According to the police report, the case was submitted for review of charges of making a terrorist threat and threatening or intimidating someone.”
Poulos appears to be unfamiliar with the mayor’s political stances.
“Poulos’s comments were made as some City Council members and advocates have demanded transparency and accountability from the Phoenix Police Department in police shootings and for police misconduct. While Gallego has been supportive of creating a civilian oversight office to review police shootings and excessive force claims, she has not supported cutting the Police Department’s budget,” the newspaper reported. “In fact, Gallego, and the City Council, has voted to increase the Police Department’s budget in June and last year, when she became mayor.”
State Rep. Norma Torres said the remarks sound “like a terrorist threat.”
Sounds like a terrorist threat to me, this threat should be investigated to its fullest! https://t.co/GQZPreQrHu
— Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) December 29, 2020