Slain teen's family vows protests over Chandler Police - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Slain teen’s family vows protests over Chandler Police

February 28th, 2021 development
Slain teen’s family vows protests over Chandler Police
 By Kevin Reagan
          Arizonan Staff Writer

Friends of a Chandler teenager shot and killed by a police officer in January are demanding the city to hold Chandler Police accountable or risk the wrath of angry protesters.

Mayor Kevin Hartke was the target of several threats at City Council’s Feb. 25 meeting after relatives of 17-year-old Anthony Cano voiced their anger over the city’s investigation into the teenager’s death.

Cano, a former Chandler High School student, was shot twice in the back while running through Gazelle Meadows Park from a Chandler officer on Jan. 2.

The teenager was allegedly carrying a firearm and didn’t comply with the officer’s commands before he was shot.

Chandler Police and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office are conducting investigations into Cano’s death and portions of the officer’s body-camera footage have been publicly released.

Cano’s family called on Hartke and Council to release the officer’s identity and the body-camera footage of other officers who responded to the incident.

Phil Martinez, a family friend, warned that if the city fails to meet their demands, Cano’s family will attempt a recall or organize protests across the city.

“We will launch a campaign against you and anybody who doesn’t stand up,” Martinez told Council.

Hartke said the city has a process in place for handling these types of incidents and that Council must await the results of the investigation before deciding on whether action needs to be taken.

But Cano’s family feels enough time has passed for more information to be released and they want the officer’s name in case they choose sue the city.

Sylvia Morales, the teenager’s grandmother, said Cano was an intelligent, athletic young man and his family is entitled to some closure after his untimely death.

Cano came from a large family of individuals who have worked in law enforcement, the grandmother noted, so the Canos know how the justice system is supposed to work.

“I’ve seen justice and I’ve seen injustice,” Morales said. “But this here is an injustice.”

Reyna Allen, Cano’s cousin, said the family has many questions about the case and wonder why the officer felt threatened enough to take lethal force against Cano.

The officer initially attempted to detain Cano for a traffic violation because the bicycle he was riding didn’t have a front headlight.

The teen fled from the officer and a chase ensued before shots were fired.

Allen referenced the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who shot two people during a Black Lives Matter protest last year in Illinois and noted how differently that case ended compared to Cano’s.

“Kyle Rittenhouse shot his gun (and) actually killed somebody,” Allen said. “How is he still alive?”

Relatives vowed to continue speaking out until the city is more transparent with the investigation.

“What happened should have never happened,” Allen added. “We are not going anywhere and we’re definitely going to keep fighting.”

The Cano case will likely be reviewed by the city’s Citizen Panel for Review of Police Complaints at one of its meetings later this year. The citizen-led panel is tasked with reviewing and evaluating police incidents where force was used.