Gilding the Lilly: Phoenix Police Board Clears Officer Who Mistakingly Shot Homeowner Six Times

phoenix police logoPhoenix police officer Brian Lilly has been cleared in the shooting of homeowner Tony Arambula by a police board. The Phoenix Use of Force Board determined Lilly acted properly in responding to a call of a burglary and shooting Arambula six times — even though Arambula, 36, did not threaten Lilly and the family claims Lilly shot him twice while he was laying on the floor.

Arambula had caught suspect, Angel Anastacio Canales, and was holding a gun on him when Lilly burst into his son’s room and began firing. His lawyer says that the officers admitted on a 911 call that they did not warn Arambula or wait long enough to determine who was the felon.

Arambula is suing Lilly and Phoenix Sgt. Sean Coutts.

Lilly insists that he did not know that there was a homeowner in the house. Yet, in one minute, he fired at a man without warning and presumably without Arambula turning toward him. Indeed, even if he was the suspect and had a gun trained on a family member, shooting the suspect could result in a discharge that kills the family member. This is why officers tell suspects to drop the weapon rather than shoot the first guy with a gun in the room.

Obviously, officers must react quickly and this officer was acting to protect himself and the family. However, this civil lawsuit may reveal more details on why Lilly felt he had to open fire without warning and without confirming who was the suspect. We have recently seen officers involved in mistaken shooting given awards in such incidents, here. For other such stories, click here and here and here.

For the full story, click here.

17 thoughts on “Gilding the Lilly: Phoenix Police Board Clears Officer Who Mistakingly Shot Homeowner Six Times

  1. theres only one Brian Lilly and he is not lost.Still lives in the love machine.No permenent address as yet. p.s. he is not a cop!!!!!!!

  2. People should write letters to the department expressing their disappointment in the incident and the response. At least something will go on file. Otherwise we are just venting on websites that they do not care about.

  3. Asking a police review board to discipline an out of control cop is like asking a medical review board to discipline an incompetent doctor. It ain’t gonna happen.

    I no longer trust police. They are bullies, hopped up with adrenaline and longing to show you ‘who’s the boss’. They think they are all ‘special forces’, and enter all residences as if they were SWAT team commandoes, with gun drawn, ready to kill anything in the house (which they often, unfortunately, do).

  4. Reminds me of the time Richard Pryor was doing a comedy tour of maximum security prisons. He was asked if he noticed that a lot of brothers were there. He said hell yes and I am glad of that sometimes.

    Perplexed the interviewer asked “why?”, to which Pryor told this story: After one of my shows I shook hands with some of the inmates. One brother seemed different, so I asked “brother why are you here”. The brother replied “I shot everybody in the house I was burglarizing”. Shocked, Pryor asked “why did you shoot them all?” The felon replied “they waz all home” … so Pryor said he was glad some of the brothers where in the joint.

    If only some policemen could conclude the same about their own.

  5. You f’in kidding me right?
    So when do the citizen protection groups meet? out of control riot cops,traffic stop tazing, blue sky tuesday tazing. Whos’s the enemy here? If the officer’s life is so important they get to apply all manner of force to civilians before they figure out what’s going on perhaps is best for all of us if they just stay in the station?

  6. Professor Turley:

    In the interest of being “fair and balanced,” could you include, once in a while, a story of police rampaging in which the officer(s) are actually, duly punished for being generally out of control. (IF such stories exist.)

  7. rafflaw,

    In Dolton, OH that was one officer and in NYC is was 15. That does not count the number of bullet used and unaccounted for. This guy shot and hit 24 times. Thats why I see it differently. But dead is dead including a broom stick up the rectum.

  8. rafflaw,

    He needs training from the Dolton, OH cops. Shoot 24 times and still have a rational number. And by all means it will be rationalized as being rational.

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