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Police officer who killed Phoenix man won't face charges

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Posted at 8:37 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 22:37:19-05

PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors declined to charge a Phoenix police officer who fatally shot a man in the back at an apartment complex where a neighbor had reported that the man and his girlfriend were arguing loudly.

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said Friday that Officer Jeff Cooke wouldn't face charges in Ryan Whitaker's death because authorities can't prove Cooke's decision to use deadly force was unreasonable.

She said Cooke saw Whitaker move a gun to his side and believed Whitaker was going to point it at another officer, so Cooke opened fire.

The Phoenix City Council voted in December to approve a $3 million settlement with Whitaker's family.