Monday, January 18, 2010

Five Arrested In Maricopa County Sheriff's Immigration Enforcement Protest

Sheriff Joe Arpaio investigated by a federal Grand Jury for alleged federal laws and civil rights violations.

Protesters involved in melee taken to Maricopa County Jail

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 17, 2010

Phoenix, AZ -On Saturday, more than 10,000 immigration rights activists and supporters marched three-miles from West Phoenix Park to the Durango jail complex. The jail complex is composed of five jails and are run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Protesters carried signs and chanted "Joe must go" and "We are Human" while they marched to the jail complex. They were calling for Arpaio to end the criminalization of undocumented immigrants, to stop enforcement of immigration laws and for the U.S. Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2010.
The 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allowed a partnership agreement between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (U.S. ICE) and Maricopa County Sheriiff's Department (MCSD), which gave federal authority for designated deputies to be trained and work along side U.S. ICE in immigration enforcement. Part of the 287(g) agreement, street enforcement authority was revoked three months ago by Federal authorities citing abuse and exceeding authority were some of the reasons to limit the partnership between U.S. ICE and MCSD. MCSD can only process undocumented immigrants under the new U.S. Homeland Security agreement under 287(g).
The peaceful march turned chaotic when a group of protesters at the end of the march began to throw water bottles at police. Police responded with tear gas and the disturbance was under control within a few minutes. Protesters shouted obscenities to officers in riot gear who managed to disperse unruly protesters.
One protester struck a police sergeant on the head and chest with a flagpole. Five people were arrested during the protest and taken to Maricopa County Jail. Three were booked for aggravated assault on police, another was booked for aggravated assault on police and disorderly conduct. The fifth was booked for disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on police, Sgt. Andy Hill, Phoenix police spokesman said.
Organizers of the march are calling for a full investigation into the disturbance caused by a small group not associated with their immigration movement. "We don't want the actions of a very small number of people to overshadow a day that was about peace. We are asking for a full investigation into the incident, both with respect to the conduct of those who were accused of disrupting the march and the actions of the police,” said Chris Newman, an attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
Last Saturday's march attracted hundreds of supporters from California, Illinois and Washington, D.C. who arrived in buses and caravans of vehicles to participate in what is being labeled the largest anti-Arpaio protest in Arizona's history.  
Linda Ronstadt, a native of Arizona also participated in the three-mile march. She said, ”Arpaio thinks law in general doesn't apply to him. It's just pathetic. He's supposed to enforce the law, not break it... he is criminalizing people that normally wouldn't be interested in a life of crime in any way, shape or form.”
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has done at least 13 immigration raids looking for undocumented immigrants since 2008 in the county and in the city where the Latino community resides.
Arpaio continues to enforce immigration laws under authority of two state laws. Sheriff Arpaio's defiance to ignore federal mandates to cease street immigration enforcement has earned him the reputation of being a modern day "Outlaw with a Badge."
Arpaio and Maricopa County are now facing a federal civil rights claim from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claiming deputies exceeded use of force when they arrested Celia Alejandra Alvarez, 29, at her landscaping business last February. Alvarez claims the deputies broke her jaw, then was incarcerated and denied proper medical treatment while in jail.
In January, a federal Grand Jury led by the U.S. Department of Justice convene to investigate allegations of repeated federal law violations stemming from immigration enforcement, civil rights violations, and Arpaio's use of his office for retribution against critics.
Corruption wide spread in Arizona's Maricopa County?

Last year in a Maricopa County court room, Maricopa Detention Officer Adam Stoddard takes a confidential document on Dec. 19, from a defense Attorney Joanne Cuccia's closed file on the desk while she is presenting her case to the judge. Stoddard then gives the swiped document to Maricopa Deputy Francisco Campillo who takes the document and makes a photocopy. The defendant sees Stoddard take the document and tells Cuccia and hell breaks loose.
The judge tells Atty. Guccia to cool down and says "deputies have a lot of leeway in my courtroom."
In Nov., Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe found Stoddard in contempt of court and ordered him to pulblicly apologize or go to jail. Stoddard refused to apologize to Cuccia and turned himself to Maricopa County Jail officials on Dec. 1, and after 10 days in jail, an Appeals Court panel of three judges decided to free Stoddard.
Ironically, Maricopa county prosecutors supporting Sheriff Arpaio (and his allege style to violate federal immigration laws) filed criminal charges against Judge Donahoe.
Deputy Campillo escaped disciplinary or criminal charges for helping Stoddard.
What do you think, corruption and civil rights violations by Maricopa county officials?, well see for your self. Youtube Internet link of Maricopa court room incident on Dec. 19, 2009:

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