Letters From the Issue of Thursday, July 5, 2007


Our own Idi Amin: Unbelievable! Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now asking the city of Phoenix for public records on travel ("Bird Alert," Stephen Lemons, June 28) when he's refused time and again to turn over public records to New Times — despite a state law requiring him to do so?

If I were the city, I'd tell him to go to hell. Or that I'd give him the city's records when he fucking turns over his own travel records to New Times!

Way to pick at a sore spot, Mr. Bird, though, as you stated, the same laws that apply to the rest of us don't apply to slimy SOB Joe. You will never get those travel records out of Joe, unless the judiciary in my former hometown suddenly grows a pair!

Joe has no problem whatsoever applying a law to somebody else that he has no intention of obeying on his own. He truly believes he's a monarch accountable to nobody. The Idi Amin of Maricopa County.
James Mann, Los Angeles


Coloring the whitewash: The Taser stories in your recent editions have been first rate. I got the idea that I was getting real facts about the weapons ("Aftershock!" June 21, and "Death by Electrocutioner," June 28, both by Paul Rubin).

In the first story, you proved that Tasers have been a tool that's beneficial to both police officers and to the people they apprehend. I could see from your research that far more people would've been killed and injured without stun guns. In the second article, you examined one of the few times a person's been Tased to death in Phoenix and, boy, this case was a doozy.

The first article said that, while Tasers were a good thing overall, there have been rogue cops who've abused them, and from what you reported, I'd say the case profiled in "Death by Electrocutioner" is a prime example.

The fact that the Phoenix Police Department saw no reason to discipline these two cops, who were boyfriend and girlfriend, is a sad commentary. An 84-second stun-gunning doesn't happen if somebody doesn't have an ax to grind. You quoted other police officers in the story as saying that such a long Tasing just doesn't make sense, and I'd say they're right.

A case like this should be looked at by the U.S. Attorney's office because it's obvious that local authorities are too busy whitewashing the horrid actions of certain cops to do a proper investigation. It was classic how you portrayed the Phoenix internal affairs office as trying to help the officers cook up legally plausible stories.

Thanks again for being the only publication in Arizona willing to tell the absolute truth about a situation: Tasers have been a useful tool for protecting public safety, but there have been horrid abuses of this weapon, just like all others in the hands of police.
Lynn Bradley, Phoenix

Tasers and the cops who use them: Thanks to Paul Rubin for once again getting to the bottom of a situation that others have been unable to fathom. He rightly points out in his first story that Tasers have saved life and limb overall and highlights in his second a case of absolute police brutality with a Taser.

How the Phoenix Police Department can come to the conclusion that these two cops don't deserve departmental discipline, if not being brought up on charges, is beyond me.

The fact that the family of the victim was able to get a $2 million settlement speaks loudly. In this law-and-order community, police officers seldom are ruled against. And the city must have felt that the victim's family's lawyers had a slam-dunk case to award that much money!

And yet the PPD rules their actions "in policy." Incredible! This is why people have learned over the years to fear and hate cops rather than trust and rely on them.
M.E. Boyle, Phoenix

Right on target: Crime writer Paul Rubin has done it again, with two riveting stories about street cops. The first went against the grain that that all Taser use is bad by saying that use of Tasers is a necessary evil. The second made the point that all weapons are misused, including stun guns, by immoral police.

It's about time somebody in the news media told the truth about stun guns. I'd a hell of a lot rather get stunned than shot in the chest. As your story pointed out, cops are taught to shoot to kill or not fire their weapons at all.
Theresa Johnson, Phoenix

Above the law: After reading the article about the death of Keith Graff, I am appalled. If that had been an average person, not a cop, he would be in prison for involuntary manslaughter. It's quite clear this was revenge; otherwise, what reason did the cops have to be in that apartment?

No warrant, no probable cause, just revenge.

Further, I am more disgusted that the county attorney, the AG, and the Phoenix Police Department have chosen to cover it up and forget about it.

Joe "Joke" Arpaio breaks the law and gets away with it time after time and that's not going to change until someone unseats him. But officers, clearly in retaliation, getting away with murder is despicable and should be investigated.

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James Spellman
James Spellman

Robert Maynard is not the founder of the "Fraud Alert System". I am the original founder!! In march 2005, he found out the system from a taxi driver driving on Curry Rd as a passenger. He made a deal that if he made a profit with the "system", the taxi driver would recieve 3% of all profits. That info with him in Las Vegas and my misfortune in identity fraud is a blatant lie! I told him to use my honest misfortune as the marketing plan. He instead used the big lie and now has been stopped. Now Robert Maynard is silent and recieving 10% and has forgot to pay his friend, the Taxi Driver his 3% in "LifeLock" that is booming in 2009. Beware!! The truth will set you free Robert Maynard Jr!!! And pay me rightfully for the business idea!!


As a midwestern born and raised I recently moved here from Illinois. I am shocked at the garbage that people out here are expected to put up with as a way of showing the illegals any kind of respect at all. If they are in jail tehn damn right deny them bail - if there is any doubt that they are legal. They are in JAIL for gods sake so they already did something to get there. I for one couldnt care one tinkers damn about their rights - I was sick to my stomach when I read the "boo hoo" bullshit article on MSNBC last week about how their "hopes and dreams had been dashed" - well EXCUSE ME ??? TEHIR hopes and dreams ? WHat about americans that cant find a job due to the home depot parking lot being full of them? And give me a BREAK!! They can actually take the citizenship test in SPANISH??? And that is ok with you? Any of you? Take the damn thing in English if you are planning on living in America. And as for the poor - again BOO HOO - mexican day laborer that worked out of the Home Depot who was actually quoted on MSBC.com as saying that since President Bushs law was shot down that he just would have to stay one step in front of the police ! EXCUSE ME ??? He said this to a national reporter and he wasnt hauled away ? Disgusting!

True you cant tell the legals from the illegals but I know one damn thing - in corporate america the legals should be told that while tehy are in the office with mostly americans they need to knock off the spanish speaking crap. I worked in a large corporation in Illinois and we had our fair share of mexicans and others in our corporation and they never spoke spanish in the workplace. Why is it ok here ?

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