After a tumultuous 2 1/2-year tenure marked by continual clashes with police unions and a string of high-profile controversies, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia was fired after he defied an order from his boss and called a press conference to unload on his critics, the Arizona Republic reports. Less than two hours after Garcia’s press conference ended, Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher called his own to announce that he had terminated Garcia for insubordination for holding court with the media after Zuercher had forbidden it.
“I think Chief Garcia has done a good job — all the men and women of the department have done a good job. But let me be clear, this issue is about following orders, about obeying an order from a supervisor,” Zuercher said. Garcia held a blistering news conference in which he fired back at his critics, called for more power over internal disciplinary actions and demanded a two-year contract. Assistant Chief Joseph Yahner was named acting chief. In what would be his final press conference as chief, Garcia fiercely defended his years in charge, citing a continual reduction in crime while managing with 600 fewer officers.