Phoenix Police Shoot Boy After ATF Mistook Him for Robbery Suspect

Dion Humphrey

Keith Palmer

A case of mistaken identity left a black teenager in the hospital after he was shot with baton rounds by police

Dion Humphrey, 19, was shot in Phoenix on January 17 after police and ATF agents misidentified the teen as a suspect in an armed robbery and attempted murder. Humphrey now has swelling around his heart and remains at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The real suspect who the ATF and Phoenix Police Department were looking for was Khalil Thornton. Thornton is Humphrey's half brother.

The Phoenix New Times reports Humphrey was walking home from dropping his sisters off at school when he heard what sounded like a gunshot from a white vehicle, innately he took off running.

The white vehicle was a unmarked car from the Phoenix Police Department firing a stun grenade as they thought Humphrey was a suspect in a armed robbery and attempted murder case.

Humphrey was then blocked off by a second unmarked vehicle, was hit in the chest with baton rounds and then tackled to the ground. Police say Humphrey was wearing a beanie at the time, when they mistook him for Thornton.

It was an ATF agent who told officers that Humphrey was the robbery and attempted murder suspect, and that's when officers moved in. Humphrey wasn't given proper medical attention for his injuries, instead he was interviewed by police for seven hours and never taken to the hospital.

After the long interview police drove Humphrey home, he was then taken to the hospital by his family.

A spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department indicated that baton rounds were used on Humphrey because they thought he was trying to get away, potentially creating a greater danger with a school nearby. But, as it turned out Humphrey was another innocent black man shot by police.

Humphrey suffers from a medical condition of sickle cell anemia and asthma, making him very fragile.

Police were in the area searching for two suspects involved in an armed robbery and attempted murder where a 66-year-old man was shot by four people during an armed robbery that left him in critical condition a day prior to when Humphrey was misidentified and shot.

Police say they misidentified Humphrey because they were searching for his half brother, who they wanted to question in connection with the armed robbery and attempted murder crimes.

Humphrey suffered injuries and was in the hospital in an intensive care unit for five days. The family plans to file a formal complaint against the department.

History of Misconduct

The Phoenix Police Department has had many run ins with misconduct.

The Mayor of Phoenix apologized when Phoenix police drew a gun on a family over an allegation of a stolen doll.

In March 2010 Homicide Detective David Barnes was fired after being indicted for perjury.

Officers from the department forced a man to eat marijuana in 2016.

Comments (5)
No. 1-5

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BATFE, America's Einsatzgruppen.


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