Target: Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema
Goal: Punish officer who allegedly intentionally ran over a suspect.
An Arizona police officer was caught on a Dashcam intentionally running over a suspect after being told to “stand down” by another officer witnessing the incident.
Marana police officer Michael Rapiejko allegedly ignored his partner’s warnings when they were pursuing the suspect, 36-year-old Mario Valencia, who had committed a series of robberies according to Tucson Police statements.
Video from Officer Michael Rapiejko’s camera shows the other officer telling him to “stand down” as he approaches Valencia, which Rapiejko ignores and chooses to speed up his vehicle, slamming into the suspect from behind. The other officer can be heard yelling, “Man down!” and is clearly surprised by the other Rapiejko’s actions. Valencia was taken to the University of Arizona Medical Center in serious condition. Valencia’s attorney says it is amazing that he was not killed in the ordeal.
The incident spurs a debate on whether Rapiejko’s use of force was justified. The police in Marana, which is about a half an hour away from Tucson, have stood by Rapiejko’s actions. The fact that there were no repercussions from the police department is troubling and sets the tone for excessive force being used on suspects when other forces could be used to detain them.
There are other ways that this suspect could have been detained and it is disturbing that the police department in Marana would stand by this excessive use of force. Please sign the petition below and call on Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema to punish Officer Rapiejko for his actions.
Dear Police Chief Terry Rozema,
Police Officer Michael Rapiejko was caught on a Dashcam using excessive force to run over a suspect and leaving him in critical condition. Not only did Officer Rapiejko not suffer any repercussions for this, but the Marana Police Department has applauded his actions.
While some hold that Valencia was a danger to the public, the evidence for this is not sufficient enough for the use of excessive force, which nearly killed the suspect. This sets a dangerous precedent that lets other officers use brutal force to detain suspects when other methods of de-escalating the situation can be used.
Marina needs police officers who will know when to listen to their partners and stand down when it is needed. Officer Rapiejko’s blatant disregard for this request shows that he does not make sound decisions.
Please do not let Officer Michael Rapiejko continue his work with no repercussions for his serious actions. The people need a police officer who will use logical thinking and not act rashly.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mesa0789 via Flickr