Mesa, Arizona (MPD) — On August 3, 2023, Detectives from the Mesa Police Department and members of the U.S. Marshals Arizona Wanted Task Force were in pursuit of 20-year-old Ny’Kendreon Pride. Pride was wanted in connection to three separate armed robberies that occurred earlier that day. The detectives spotted Pride walking west across Mesa Drive from an apartment complex located at 1233 North Mesa Drive. He then continued south on the sidewalk in front of another apartment complex at 1230 North Mesa Drive.
As Pride was walking, the detectives approached him in their vehicle. One detective, who was sitting in the rear passenger side, threw a flashbang near Pride, while another detective, in the front passenger side, yelled for Pride to get down on the ground. In response, the rear seat detective fired two beanbag rounds, while the front seat detective fired rounds from his rifle.
According to the detective, Pride appeared to reach for what he believed was a gun, prompting him to fire his duty weapon. Pride collapsed as he attempted to run away with a handgun in his hand. Despite multiple commands to drop the weapon, Pride did not respond. In an effort to immobilize him, detectives utilized a taser, pepper ball rounds, and additional beanbag rounds. Unfortunately, Pride remained unresponsive.
Detectives approached Pride, removed the handgun from his hand, and took him into custody. The Mesa Fire Department arrived at the scene and transported Pride to the hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. Subsequent investigation revealed that the handgun Pride was carrying was a Glock with a depressed trigger, but no round in the chamber. The gun also had a Glock-Switch on the back and an extended magazine containing 28 rounds. Detectives also discovered a significant amount of cash in Pride’s possession.
The incident was captured on video, providing a visual account of the events leading up to Pride’s apprehension and subsequent demise. The Mesa Police Department and U.S. Marshals Arizona Wanted Task Force released the footage, allowing the public to gain insight into the encounter. (Embed video here)
The use of force by law enforcement agencies is always subject to scrutiny, and this incident is no exception. Questions have been raised regarding the appropriateness of the tactics used by the detectives and the level of force employed. It is essential for law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate any incident involving the use of force to ensure transparency and accountability.
In recent years, cases of police shootings have sparked nationwide debates and discussions surrounding police reform and accountability. These incidents highlight the need for improved training for law enforcement officers on the use of force and de-escalation techniques. By equipping officers with the tools and knowledge necessary to handle complex and potentially dangerous situations, law enforcement agencies can work towards reducing the instances of excessive force.
Additionally, community outreach programs and initiatives can help bridge the gap between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Building trust and fostering positive relationships between officers and residents is crucial in maintaining public safety and ensuring the fair and just treatment of all individuals.
It is important to remember that each law enforcement encounter is unique, and the circumstances surrounding Pride’s arrest should be thoroughly investigated before passing judgment. The release of the video footage allows for a better understanding of the events that unfolded that day, but it is crucial to rely on all available evidence and witness testimonies to form a comprehensive understanding of the incident.
Police work is inherently dangerous and requires split-second decision-making. It is a difficult job that often involves facing high-risk situations. However, law enforcement agencies must also be held accountable for their actions and strive to maintain the public’s trust. Through comprehensive investigations, transparency, and ongoing efforts to improve training and community relations, law enforcement agencies can work towards a fair and just system that promotes safety and justice for all.