Arizona Police Officer Who Held Black Hotel Employee at Gunpoint While Looking for White Suspect Gives Up Peace Officer Certification
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Arizona Police Officer Who Held Black Hotel Employee at Gunpoint While Looking for White Suspect Gives Up Peace Officer Certification

Tempe Arizona Police
(Image: Screenshot)

Nearly two years ago, an Arizona police officer held a Black hotel worker at gunpoint when he arrived at the business establishment looking for an armed white man. He has now relinquished his Arizona peace officer certification following that incident.

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, former police officer Ronald A. Kerzaya has given up his Arizona peace officer certification without admitting any misconduct or failure to meet minimum qualifications.

Based on documents Fox 10 Phoenix obtained from the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, the decision made by Kerzaya will be entered into the National Decertification Index. The database is maintained by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training. The decision will be inputted as a voluntary relinquishment.

Kerzaya will no longer be able to become a peace officer in Arizona.

The former police officer signed the document on Feb. 11, 2022, and his attorney  Dale Norris did so on Feb. 20, 2022. The decision was accepted at an Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board meeting on March 16, 2022.

Last year, Kerzaya was reassigned due to the incident that took place. He stopped and held a gun pointed at the Black hotel worker wearing a light gray shirt and black pants, telling him he matched the description of a reported gunman. But, the reported suspect was described as white, with a black shirt and tan pants.

Based on a news release from the Tempe Police Department, Officer Kerzaya had gone to the Hawthorn Suites hotel near Loop 101 and Southern Avenue on Aug. 29 on a call reporting a man there with a gun. The hotel manager told Kerzaya the suspect was a white man wearing a black T-shirt and tan pants. The manager stated that the suspect had left out of the west side of the building.

As Kerzaya went to the west side of the building, he encountered a Black employee wearing a light gray shirt and black pants as he was exiting the building and the Black man identified himself as an employee. Kerzaya then held the man at gunpoint “until he could confirm that he was an employee of the hotel.”

The body camera footage released by the Tempe Police Department shows Kerzaya holding the man at gunpoint for three minutes while confirming with dispatch that the man was an employee at the hotel. Kerzaya can be heard telling the Black employee, “I am responding to somebody with a firearm who matches your description,” although Kerzaya had just confirmed with the hotel manager two minutes before encountering the Black employee that the suspect with the gun was a white man.


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