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Phoenix Police Officer's Demotion Upheld In Fatal Shooting

Michelle Cusseaux
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Corrections)
Michelle Cusseaux pictured in 2010.

Phoenix’s Civil Service Board has upheld the demotion of police officer who fatally shot a woman in 2014.

Phoenix police went to Michelle Cusseaux’s west side apartment with a court order to take her to a mental health facility.

Percy Dupra was among several officers who entered Cusseaux’s apartment after she refused to come out. Police say that when she threatened them with a hammer, Dupra feared for his life and shot Cusseaux.

The incident set off protests, and calls for more resources to treat the mentally ill.

Last fall, police Chief Joseph Yahner accepted a disciplinary board recommendation to demote Dupra from sergeant. Dupra appealed the decision, but it was denied this week.

Cusseaux’s family has filed a $7 million federal lawsuit against the city.

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Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.