Phoenix police officer Steven Poulos has been named as the police officer who is under investigation for threatening Mayor Kate Gallego. The Arizona Republic discovered details in a public record request that the Tempe police released. A Tempe police detective interviewed the sergeant and the other five officers who were at the meeting with Poulos. The case is being criminally investigated and a report has not been released. Phoenix police have opened an internal affairs investigation to determine if Poulos violated any policies.
In October, an investigation began after it was discovered a Phoenix police officer had made a credible threat against the mayor. At the time, Gallego was given extra protection, according to an AP report.
The threat was made at a briefing on October 21 at a Cave Creek station. The discussion had veered to the defund-the-police movement when Poulos’ sergeant reported that Officer Poulos stated, “If the mayor defunds the police, I’m going to shoot her.”
The sergeant replied, “You’re not going to shoot the mayor.”
“That’s a promise,” Poulos responded.
Some officers at the briefing remember the threat differently, according to the police report. All of the officers believe Poulos wouldn’t act on the threat.
One officer remembered Poulos saying, “If they defund us, the first person on my list is the mayor.” Another recalled him saying, “If they defund the police, I’ll go over the mayor’s house and shoot it up.”
According to the police report, after the meeting, Poulos told the sergeant, “I don’t know why they make a bid (big) deal about it, it was just a joke.”