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CrimeTempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits

17:25  28 june  2019
17:25  28 june  2019 Source:   azcentral.com

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A Tempe police officer who resigned while under investigation for shooting and killing 14-year-old Antonio Arce is now trying to get early retirement benefits from the city.

Officer Joseph Jaen resigned May 20, five months after he shot Arce while responding to reports of a vehicle burglary. City officials said Jaen's resignation is separate from the criminal review and administrative review into the shooting of Arce, which are both still ongoing.

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Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

Now, Jaen is asking the Tempe Police Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Board to give him early disability retirement.

Jaen didn't attend Thursday's hearing. He hasn't appeared publicly since the shooting.

Kenny Porter, a chaplain for the Tempe Police Department and former Phoenix police homicide detective, spoke briefly on Jaen's behalf at the city hearing. He told the board he's been providing counseling to Jaen since the shooting.

"Not only is this warranted, but it's also the right thing to do and also would be the ethical thing to do given the circumstances," Porter said.

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Jaen's condition is unclear

Jaen spent 14 years with Tempe police and previously served three years on the Bullhead City Police Department. He was a member of the Army National Guard from 2007-13 and was deployed to Iraq in 2011.

Following the shooting, he was on administrative leave prior to his resignation.

An accidental disability is one that happened while the employee was on the clock and permanently prevents the employee from doing his or her job. Both physical and mental conditions can qualify.

The board didn't disclose which medical or mental health condition Jaen cited for filing for accidental disability. He'll have to undergo an independent medical exam before his application can be reviewed.

Jaen previously filed for ordinary disability benefits in 2012. His application was later withdrawn.

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A Tempe spokeswoman said she was working with the city's legal counsel to determine what information could be publicly released Thursday evening.

The Arizona Republic has not received either of Jaen's disability applications or his department personnel files, despite multiple public records requests dating back to January.

What benefits would Jaen get?

If retirement is granted, Jaen will receive a pension equal to a minimum of 50% of his salary, according to the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.

Jaen earned approximately $78,000 annually, according to a public employee salary database maintained by The Republic.

Status of shooting investigations

The criminal case was forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in February to determine whether the use of force was justified and if any criminal charges should be filed against Jaen.

The administrative investigation will determine whether the officer should face any disciplinary actions, which could have ranged from a single-day suspension to dismissal.

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It's not clear if the findings will have any impact on Jaen's pending disability application.

The shooting of Antonio Arce

Body-camera footage previously released by police showed Jaen responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle possibly used in a burglary in a neighborhood alley near Baseline Road and 48th Street.

Officials said Jaen saw Arce holding a gun while Arce was sitting inside a truck. Jaen ordered Arce to show his hands once he stepped out of the vehicle.

Body-camera video shows Jaen firing at Arce twice as Arce ran away from the officer. The teen did not appear to turn around or point a weapon at Jaen.

Arce was hit once between the shoulder blades and later died at a hospital. An airsoft gun that still had the orange tip used to indicate the weapon wasn't lethal was found under Arce's body.

Reach public safety reporter Bree Burkitt at bburkitt@republicmedia.com or at 602-444-8515. Follow her on Twitter at @breeburkitt.

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Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits
Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits

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    Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.
    Tempe police officer who shot Antonio Arce wants retirement benefits© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.
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