GLENDALE- In a year when violent law enforcement encounters made big news, the Glendale police killing of John Pacheaco Jr. on Halloween 2020 stands out in part because Officer Chandler Phillips, one of the cops who fired an estimated seventeen shots during the incident, later shared a social media post juxtaposing a photo of him pouting about being stuck on desk duty with an image of Mark Wahlberg from The Other Guys declaring, “I’m a peacock! You gotta let me fly!”
More typical are the circumstances of the shooting, during which Phillips and another colleague opened fire into a moving vehicle — a tactic that is widely derided by police experts and was banned by the Denver Police Department after the death of teenager Jessie Hernandez in 2015, a shooting that sparked widespread protests and a huge settlement.
As for the Glendale Police Department, attorney Matthew Haltzman, who represents Pacheaco’s family and is gathering material for a potential wrongful-death lawsuit, obtained a slew of internal documents by way of a Colorado Open Records Act request, including one that prohibits shooting into a moving vehicle unless the lives of officers or others are endangered. Based on video of the incident, Haltzman concludes that this standard wasn’t met. The two officers who fired “went against their own training,” he says.
Michael Roberts for Westword