Things That Matter

Family of Latino Teen Shot In the Back By a Police Officer In Arizona Is Awarded $1.1M

Courtesy GoFundMe

After months of fighting, the family of 17-year-old Anthony Cano is finally getting a modicum of justice. The city of Chandler, Arizona, rewarded Cano’s family a $1.1 million settlement after their son was fatally shot by a police officer in January. The family says that the officer was negligent in shooting Cano.

In January, Officer Chase Bebak-Miller attempted to stop Anthony Cano because the headlight on his bike was out. Officer Bebak-Miller eventually began to chase Cano on foot. The foot-chase ended in Cano’s death.

Later, the police released body cam footage that showed what happened before and after the shooting. The 5-minute video begins with Office Chase Bebak-Miller exiting his vehicle and chasing Anthony Cano on foot. The chase lasts mere seconds before we see Cano bend over to pick something up from the ground and turn away. Officer Bebak-Miller yells, “Weapon drawn! Get on the ground!”, less than a second before shooting him.

Cano collapses after the first shot, but Bebak-Miller shoots him one more time in the back while Cano is lying, face-down on the ground. At this point, Cano is still alive, although in visible pain. Backup soon arrives and administers first-aid on Cano. Cano tells them to “hurry”. He says: “I don’t want to die.” He then tells the officer that he “was trying to throw the gun away.” Bebak-Miller responds: “Well, I thought you were pulling it on me, man. That was f—— stupid.”

Anthony Cano’s death was not a quick one. Cano spent three weeks at the hospital before dying on January 23rd.

In one of the two claims that the family filed against the city of Chandler, the family asserted that Officer Bebak-Miller’s actions caused Cano “extreme pain and anguish which culminated in his death”. They also claim that Bebak-Miller’s actions caused Cano’s mother, Renee Clum, “extreme pain and anguish”.

“Anthony Cano should be alive today. He and his beloved family should be laughing at Anthony’s antics, loving one another, and planning for their joint futures,” said family attorney Greg Kuykendall, in a statement after the city came to a decision. “Instead, Anthony is dead…His mother is absolutely distraught. His siblings are beyond anguished. His many friends are lost, alone and angry.”

In the weeks after the police shooting of Anthony Cano, loved ones as well as activists demonstrated in front of Chandler City Hall to call an end to police brutality.

The family’s lawyer argued that Bebak-Miller “obviously intended to cause severe injury” in shooting Anthony Cano. The lawsuit also alleged that Bebak-Miller was a simple patrol officer who was vying for a promotion to the gang unit. They allege that in chasing Anthony Cano, he was trying to “burnish his gang credentials. They also say Bebak-Miller targeted Anthony because he was Latino.

“He was scared, coming home,” said Anthony’s mother, Renee Clum, at one of the demonstrations. “He wasn’t doing anything wrong other than riding a bike without a light.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com