TUCSON, Ariz. — From the revelations surrounding the death of a man in Tucson Police Department custody, to the dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state, to a third week of efforts to contain the seemingly unstoppable Bighorn Fire. Here are all the biggest stories KGUN 9 brought you this week.
OUTRAGE OVER TPD IN-CUSTODY DEATH
On the morning of April 21, three Tucson Police Department officers responded to a call that the callers grandson was drunk, yelling, and running around the house naked. Police reportedly held 27-year-old Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez handcuffed and on the ground for about 14 minutes. Ingram-Lopez's labored breaths and pleas for water were ignored by officers. He then went unresponsive. Officers tried to revive him. Paramedics arrived and declared him dead at the scene.
After viewing the video of the death, Mayor Regina Romero canceled Tuesday night's City Council meeting, vowing to hold a press conference Wednesday to disclose details of the incident to the public.
During that press conference, Police Chief Chris Magnus said that police should have disclosed the death sooner but were distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnus said the officers would have been fired had they not resigned. He then offered his resignation for the incident and slow disclosure.
Mayor Romero expressed sympathy for the deceased's family and said she would propose reforms and policy changes with input from the community.
Wednesday, the autopsy for Ingram-Lopez found the cause of death to be attributable to cardiac arrest, acute cocaine intoxication, and physical restraint. The manner of death was still undetermined.
The full report on the case was then released to the media and included a recommendation for the termination of officers Samuel Routledge, Ryan Starbuck, and Jonathan Jackson -- all three had already resigned the day before the completion of the investigation. The report also drew conclusions about how the officers should have reacted during the incident.
The Pima County Supervisor rejected Magnus' resignation Thursday. Mayor Romero said she would look forward to working with Magnus on reforming and rebuilding trust for the police department.
That night, hundreds honored the memory of Ingram-Lopez inside El Tiradito.
Friday, we learned that one of the officers involved in the death of Ingram-Lopez, Ryan Starbuck, is a certified Emergency Medical Technician. He has been an EMT for 14 years.
Saturday, Magnus attended a virtual NAACP-TPD town hall and announced that going forward, the community would be notified of any in-custody deaths and the body camera footage would be released within 72-hours after the incident.
THE BIGHORN FIRE BLAZES A THIRD WEEK
The Bighorn Fire continues to grow and threaten residential areas. The latest, Redington, was given the GO! order Saturday afternoon.
This week KGUN 9 went inside the base camp and learned all the facilities the camp provides for the men and women battling the blaze.
We also spoke to the owner of Pecos Valley Wildfire, learning how the retardant works and how much each helicopter can hold.
Early in the week, we learned that the Bighorn Fire is taking the largest share of firefighting efforts anywhere in the country right now, with 1,168 personnel working to contain the fire at the time of writing.
Governor Ducey visited the wildfire Monday and said that inmates are helping in efforts to battle the blaze. In fact, 113 Arizona inmates with low-level offenses were deployed.
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Southern Arizona, that's in effect today (Sunday) and Monday, from afternoon to evening hours.
ARIZONA BECOMES THE COUNTRY'S COVID-19 HOTSPOT
Arizona gained national attention for the state's steep rise in COVID-19 cases. As worldwide cases surpassed 9 million Monday, we learned in Arizona, young people have the highest infection rate. Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen suspects has to do with younger people giving less thought to precautions to prevent the virus.
Tuesday, it was announced the 'A' Mountain fireworks show would be postponed to an unspecified date. Casino del Sol canceled its July 3 firework display.
And following many cities and counties across the country, Douglas and Oro Valley passed mandates requiring masks be worn in public.
Governor Doug Ducey announced Wednesday he will use $270 million in funding from the CARES Act to help pay for school safety protocols, technology and remedial courses for students who have fallen behind.
The Governor also held a press conference saying that Arizonans should wear masks and stressing: "You're safer at home".
Not everyone is a fan of the city-wide mask policy in Tucson and some are making their displeasure known by protesting on Saturday afternoons. Last Saturday, protesters congregated outside the mayor's home. Mayor Romero issued a statement regarding the protests, calling them "intimidation" and a public health risk. This weekend, protesters voiced their displeasure outside a downtown library.
Friday we spoke with Dr. Theresa Cullen again, this time on the lack of open ICU beds in Pima County.
The rapid rise in cases led to Vice President Mike Pence postponing his visit, scheduled for Tuesday, "Out of an abundance of caution."
Tanque Verde District prepares for the return of students and ponders how to tackle elective classes like P.E. and music.
How meditation is helping Tucsonans find their center-of-balance during the pandemic.
Weight Watchers changes procedures as nearly half of American women and a fifth of men say they've gained weight because of pandemic restrictions.
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