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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Grieving Sons Call Cop Trigger-Happy

PHOENIX (CN) - A Scottsdale policeman killed a truck driver as he backed into his own driveway by needlessly firing 11 shots at him, the late 72-year-old man's sons claim in court.

John Phillips and Preson Phillips III sued Scottsdale, its Police Department, Police Chief Alan G. Rodbell and Officer Nathaniel Mullins for the wrongful death of their father, Preson Phillips Jr., in Maricopa County Court.

According to the lawsuit, Officer Mullins and an unidentified officer responded to a call of a parking dispute between Phillips and a neighbor on March 27, 2013.

Mullins spoke with the neighbor and with John Phillips, who lived with his father, the complaint states.

When the other officer began writing a ticket to Phillips, his father drove up to the house, and began backing into his own driveway. Mullins then "drew his gun and began yelling," and fired 11 rounds into Phillips truck, killing him, the brothers say.

They claim that at no time did their father threaten Mullins "or provide any justifying provocation."

Mullins should have approached Phillips "in a calm and quiet manner and avoided unnecessary physical aggression rather than immediately escalating the situation by yelling and subjecting Mr. Phillips to grossly excessive force by (inter alia) shooting him to death," the complaint states.

The Phillips seek punitive damages for negligence and excessive force.

They are represented by Matthew Brown of Brown & Little in Tempe.

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