Last Tuesday night’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a Phoenix police officer has once again shined the light on policing. An officer investigating a report of drug dealing shot and killed Rumain Brisbon when the officer believed he was pulling a gun from his pocket.
One of the last vestiges of old Tempe will soon disappear. Monti’s La Casa Vieja is closing and artifacts are being sold off. Michael Monti, the son of founder Leonard Monti, sold the property for over $16 million. A high-rise hotel will now tower over the property and questions about the “old house’s” future are unclear.
Only about one in four sexual assaults committed in Arizona is ever solved by police. One attack that hasn’t been solved by police is the brazen and savage attack by an unknown assailant on a 91-year-old woman in one of Tempe’s better neighborhoods.
As a registered Republican one of the biggest things that worries me about Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey is his climbing into political bed with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Why would a guy seek out the support and endorsement form a sheriff who is under federal scrutiny and court ordered regulation, has been shown to be an ineffective sheriff who blew off hundreds of cases involving rapes and child molests, has cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County well over $100 million dollars in misspent jail tax funds, has 30,000 unserved felony arrest warrants in his files, has cost us tens of millions of dollars related to lawsuits stemming from prisoners being abused and killed in his jail and who spent the last decade alienating Hispanics on both sides of the border?
As the father of an Arizona State University student, former ASU police officer and former member of the Tempe Police Citizen’s Review Board, I read the Sunday front-page Arizona Republic story, “ASU PD staffing trails campus growth,” with considerable interest.
Most Tempe residents will never come in contact with the University Lakes Precinct Justice of the Peace. The JP has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and traffic crimes committed at Arizona State University and outside of the Tempe City limits and a laundry list of civil law matters. JPs aren't required to be attorneys.
The first debate between gubernatorial candidates Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal was what I expected it to be. Their positions on education and jobs are quite well known. Both spoke well, dressed alike and were pleasant. It was what was to be expected.
In the opinion pages of the Aug. 29 Arizona Republic, readers were told for the second time in August about the growing gang problems in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community, problems that have spread beyond Salt River and into the East Valley and beyond. Gangs have long been a problem there and continue to grow in boldness. Last May gangsters murdered a Salt River police officer across the street from an upscale Scottsdale neighborhood. Attacks on police and community members are all too common.
To drive down the 101 and admire Talking Stick Resort, Salt River Fields and pristine farmland you’d never guess that beyond the obvious beauty and the increasing wealth of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community there exists an extremely serious crime problem. A crime problem driven by organized crime gangs with ties to prison gangs and, ultimately Mexico based drug cartels, whose crime sprees don't stop at tribal boundaries, but extend well into the bordering cities of Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and beyond.
While Pinal County “Sheriff Underpants” Paul Babeu has been out on the campaign trail touting gubernatorial candidate and “forensic accountant” Christine Jones, Pinal County Jail employees have been sweating bullets worrying about whether or not they’re going to have a job. All that thanks to the long running dispute between their boss and the federal government over the cost to house federal prisoners in the county jail and any number of other Babeu made up reasons to bad mouth the feds.
“Business owners or patrons who want to stop someone from inhaling vapors in prohibited settings can call the Tempe Police Department, which will enforce the ban.” Arizona Republic, “Tempe bans e-cigarette use in public,” Aug. 1.
Every time I hear Arizona State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey boast of his business background I start having flashbacks of wealthy businessman and ex-governor Fife Symington. Symington who had the cash to buy the election and failed to understand that while government can learn from business, it’s not a private sector enterprise.
After living in Arizona my entire life and having been around and working with Arizona sheriffs like Cochise County sheriffs Jimmy Willson and Larry Dever, Coconino County Sheriff Joe Richards and Maricopa County Sheriff Jerry Hill, and even Joe Arpaio on one of his good days, it’s hard to imagine the new face of Arizona sheriffs is Pinal County “Sheriff Underpants” Paul Babeu.
After watching and reading about the state treasurer’s debate I thought to myself that with ex-Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman’s line of “bull” he should be selling used cars. http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/2014/07/08/treasurer-candidates-get-loud-debate/12393627/.
If you’re a police officer in the United States, there’s one place you definitely don’t want to be, and that’s in the sights of media being talked about as that white cop who physically abused a black woman during an arrest.
The right wing of the Republican Party has pretty much had its way with the people and state of Arizona. From corrupt and wacky governors to a border hawk sheriff shacked up with an illegal alien, a Legislature run by the likes of Russell Pearce and a herd of kooks and an attorney general who gives a whole new meaning to crooked lawyer.
“(Maricopa County Sheriff Joe) Arpaio should be commended for lowering crime and rescuing animals from certain death. You don't have to like his schtick.” Gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones responding to a question from KPNX’s Brahm Resnik on why she sought Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s endorsement. http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2014/06/07/arizona-income-tax-debate-end/10119357/.
“Mesa Mayor Scott Smith praised the investigation as an example of a Mesa police philosophy that targets career criminals who are responsible most crimes. He said crime in Mesa is down to a 40-year low and that street level drug sales are down 19 percent.”
If I were Governor Jan Brewer, I’d want to know how the Office of Child Welfare Investigations - OCWI as it’s called - managed to hire an investigator to protect Arizona’s children who falsified his past about having been a police officer?
I can only imagine how the parents of the little girl “accidentally” shot with a Taser by a Tempe police officer felt after being notified of her injuries. The incident occurred while the girl was in her classroom at a Tempe public school.
“If officer-involved shootings are not investigated and handled correctly and thoroughly, the involved agency, individual officer(s), and entire criminal justice system will likely face severe criticism, loss of public trust and confidence.” -- Crime Scene Handbook, by Dr. Henry Lee, Ph.D., the former director of the Connecticut State Police Crime Lab and a world-renowned forensic scientist.
A lawfully impaneled jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Trayvon Martin. The State of Florida failed to prove Zimmerman committed any crime. The government used the full force of its powers to investigate and prosecute Zimmerman and didn’t prove its case to the jury. That’s the way the system works in the United States.
News stories from over the weekend about the deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shot fire fighters in Yarnell paint an ugly picture of Arizona’s response to what was a small fire that grew and grew and killed so many.
Friday will be Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler’s last day on the job. She is retiring after over nine years as chief. Before leading the Chandler department, Kiyler served 31-years with the Phoenix police department where her career took her from the streets to investigating organized crime to leading the department’s homicide unit and eventually commanding the Violent Crimes Bureau.