"I certainly would list restraint asphyxiation as a component here," said Dr. Dan Spitz, medical examiner for Macomb County, Michigan. "I wouldn't classify this death as anything to do with alcohol withdrawal."

Spitz said it's difficult to know if and how much the guards could be at fault — because medical examiners have to rely on written testimony from those same guards to determine what happened.

In Farias' case, those written testimonies are suspect. Two of the guards' written testimonies are word-for-word identical in places, a red flag in any death investigation. Two additional reports are exact copies of each other, down to the punctuation and capitalization.

That's one reason why jails have surveillance cameras — for accountability. Video footage could show whether Farias actually was aggressive toward officers. It could also show how much force the officers used on an inmate who was already cuffed, shackled, restrained with a leather corrections belt, and suffering from alcohol withdrawal.

On July 25, New Times requested that video and other records related to Farias' death. The MCSO has refused to produce the footage.

Captain Paul Chagolla did not respond specifically to repeated requests for the video and other investigative materials. Lieutenant Dot Culhane, "legal liaison" for MCSO, told New Times the request would not be granted because the material is part of an ongoing investigation, but she did not give a specific reason why releasing the materials would harm the investigation, as required by Arizona public-records law.

Attorneys who regularly request video and other records from the jail say the sheriff stopped producing such videos after two cases in the late '90s, both of which showed guards beating inmates. One of those inmates died, and the other's neck was broken during a separate incident.

Those videos resulted in two lawsuit settlements that totaled more than $9 million. Since then, attorneys say they see video only when a judge orders it. Even then, the videos are usually ruined or rendered useless.

"We had one case where a magnet was put to the video to ruin it," says Joel Robbins, an attorney who represents inmates and their families against Arpaio.

"The cases I have are regularly missing papers, missing documents. When they kill someone, they don't ever seem to have the report done. They'll hide it until you get a judge order to hand it over."

Robbins says any citizen should have the legal right to review jail footage because about 70 percent of inmates are still considered innocent as they await trial, and because public tax dollars fund the jail and its employees.

"We ought to know what our problems are if we pay taxes to a government agency," Robbins says. "The MCSO hides the problems and puts their little press releases out on whatever they want people to focus on. They want you to sit there and just eat up whatever Arpaio has to say about the topic of the day. They don't want you to know what actually goes into the sausage."


Juan Mendoza Farias' story is still untold, to some extent. Other jail deaths have been described in excruciating detail, though, as the result of years in court proceedings. The judgments and settlements in the following four deaths alone total $20.25 million.

SCOTT NORBERG

The best-known case of excessive force in Arpaio's jail involves the 1996 death of Scott Norberg. In that case (the first big lawsuit against Arpaio that the county settled, for $8.25 million), attorneys did get video footage of Norberg's beating, but only after a portion of the footage was leaked to the news media.

The video shows one guard dragging Norberg on the ground by his feet. It shows another Tasering him and shows a towel wrapped around Norberg's head as he is slammed into a metal restraint chair ("Murder on Madison: The Norberg Remix," David Holthouse, April 15, 1999).

In that case, jail employees actually destroyed Norberg's medical records, going so far as to throw away an incriminating X-ray that showed his trachea had been broken during the beating, attorneys argued

But more disturbing was the callous and inhuman attitude of some jail officers toward Norberg.

Officer Kimberly Walsh — who was holding the towel around Norberg's face — testified in a recorded court deposition that she'd warned the other guards they were killing Norberg.

"I told him that he was turning blue or purple and he . . . I don't think he was breathing," Walsh testified. "And [the other guard] said, 'Who gives a fuck?'"

Walsh said she then warned a second guard that Norberg was dying. To which he replied, "Who gives a shit?"

Neither of the guards was ever disciplined.

BRIAN CRENSHAW

On January 16, 2008, the county paid $2 million to settle with the family of Brian Crenshaw.

Crenshaw, 40, was legally blind and serving a short sentence for shoplifting when he got into a fight with Arpaio's detention officers. It's still not clear who started that fight, but it is clear that Crenshaw was transferred to solitary confinement as a result.

Jail records show that during six days in solitary, Crenshaw was fed only twice. Then he was discovered comatose in his cell with a broken neck, ruptured intestines, broken toes, and severe internal injuries.

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32 comments
Susan Rastella
Susan Rastella

As usual Sheriff Arpaio will deny any wrong doing on behalf of the Deputies. He will further deny any knowledge of anything, at any time, about everything in his Sheriff's department. His words of "I know nothing" is getting old. Can he really think the voters in Maricopa County are that stupid?

If you don't believe he is a poor example for a Sheriff I can provide you with about 99.5 million other reasons.

Sheriff Joe, be a man (LMFAO) and RESIGN!

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snmseo

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ajibik
ajibik

If you'll remember: Jefferson Davis McGee who was picked up Maricopa County sheriff�s detectives in 2001 for questioning in the rape and murder of 8-year-old Elizabeth Byrd. Arpaio thought he had his man. And it seems that the sheriff might have gone to great lengths in an attempt to get a confession out of this high-profile suspect.

The problem the sheriff�s office faced was that, after many hours of interrogation, McGee hadn�t confessed to the murder. So sheriff�s personnel decided to book McGee into the jail on an unrelated charge. There was an outstanding warrant against him on an old petty theft beef (turned out McGee wasn�t guilty of that crime, either). Then a strange thing happened. Against departmental policy regarding accused child molesters or child killers, McGee was placed in the jail�s general population of maximum-security inmates. It�s the most dangerous place in the jail. And it�s common knowledge that child molesters, or �chomos� as they�re called by inmates, are in the most danger of all.

Of course, once he was moved, the inevitable happened. Fellow inmates found out what everybody else knew from local TV � that McGee was the key suspect in the girl�s murder. They then spent more than 10 minutes taking turns beating him in his bunk.

The sheriff�s office�s line is that guards didn�t see any train of inmates going in and out of McGee�s cell. But in jail videotapes surrounding the incident obtained by New Times, one guard, Michael Crane, is seen entering the maximum-security pod during the beating, walking to within 10 feet of McGee�s door, talking with two inmates and then leaving. After the guard departs, the beating continues.

McGee barely survived the assault. If he hadn�t been taken to the county hospital for emergency surgery, he would have bled to death. Doctors had to cut open his chest from sternum to pubic bone to save him. Amazingly, he survived with only the loss of his spleen and a grotesque scar.

bruce
bruce

dave i hope you and your family are killed by a drunk driver.

bruce
bruce

it looks to me like this drunken bum did this to him self.at least he won't be driving drunk any more and endangering other people.

Coz
Coz

-----Original Message-----From: Jim Cozzolino Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 12:15 PMTo: 'phoenix@ic.fbi.gov'Subject: Mugshot Reveals Inmate in Joe Arpaio's Jail Had No Facial Bruises Before His Death

How many people is Arpaio and his Monkey's allowed to kill before someone steps in and stops the maddness ?Can anyone answer that honestly ?Jim Cozzolino

Mugshot Reveals Inmate in Joe Arpaio's Jail Had No Facial Bruises Before His Death Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 07:41:47 AM By John Dickerson Phoenix New Times

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

Juan Mendoza Farias appeared to be in good health -- or at least his face was -- in a booking photo taken four days before his bruised body arrived at the county morgue.

Farais, 40, a legal U.S. resident with a valid social security number, died after a violent altercation with Sheriff Joe Arpaio's guards in the Maricopa County Jail. New Times recently wrote about his death, noting that the Sheriff's Office refuses to hand over video footage that could show exactly how much force the guards used.

Since then, the MCSO mailed this booking photo to New Times, as well as a legal statement, asserting that the MCSO will continue to withhold the video. The mugshot shows Farias' face when he was arrested December 2, 2007 on a warrant for violating his probation following a DUI. Around midnight on December 4, 2007, Farias stopped breathing and began bleeding from his nose and mouth while 11 guards reportedly restrained him. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The following photos were taken on December 7, 2007.

Farias' body was beaten and bruised, according to photos and an autopsy report produced by the county Medical Examiner's Office. Welts from "pepper-ball" shots (normally used for crowd control) and from electronic Taser devices are evident on the body.

Since July 25, 2007, the MCSO has refused to produce any records about Farias' death -- with the exception now of this lone booking photo (which the MCSO charged New Times $10.50 to produce).

In its most recent correspondence, the MCSO's legal liaison claims that releasing the video footage of Farais' final moments would compromise its own investigation of the death.

"Investigations can be compromised by the disclosure of certain documents or recordings. For example, if a witness were to view a videotape of the incident or have information relayed...by someone who viewed the videotape, it is possible that the witness' memory what occurred will be altered to conform to what they believe they are seeing or what they have been told," Legal Liaison Pam Woody wrote.

As reported in the September 11 story about Farias, two of the guards' written accounts describing Farias' death match word-for-word. Two additional accounts shared duplicate sentences.

Walter McGrath
Walter McGrath

Joe Arapaio is a National Hero. I only wish Sheriff Joe would have run for President. Now there's a man who can kick butt and take names. Too bad the prisoner died but he should have behaved himself. I'd say he "fought the law and the law won" which is the way we want all those encounters to go.

Hats off to Sheriff Joe for protecting Maricopa County residents and setting an example for Law Enforcement nation wide.

Coz
Coz

There will never be any justice within or around MCSO as long as Bozo Joke Arpaio is in charge and his Monkey followers like BigBadDO to do his dirty work and continue to cover up and lie for everything that happens within MCSO.

It's time Bozo Joe gets booted from office and those that have done is dirty work go to jail.

No More Arpaio in 2008.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

"Big Bad D.O." is right when he says that the video is merely being withheld as a result of policy. The same policy that unlawfully refuses to release public records; the same policy that unlawfully refuses to comply with discovery requests in legal cases; the same policy that unlawfully refuses to comply with court orders; the same policy that unlawfully tampers with evidence and obstructs justice.

Yeah, that policy.

It's so easy to show up here and bad-mouth a dead man and claim that you wish the video had been released, but in fact it wasn't and the MCSO is doing everything they possibly can, as usual whenever they are responsible for gross physical abuse of prisoners, to temporize, obfuscate, deny, and escape culpability, instead of complying with the law, admitting culpability, and instituting the kind of changes necessary to insure that it doesn't happen again, while bringing those responsible to justice.

david saint
david saint

towife of mcso officer:

i have not walked in their shoes, but i know plenty of cops who a: know what the word restraint is, and the difference between compliance and revengeb: AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT ONE, HAVENT KILLED ANYONE IN THEIR CUSTODY, EVEN IF THEY RAN AND/OR ATTACKED THEM..im sick of hearing excuses and reasons that make their actions somehow ok..its time for accountability, and if the cops under him cant make that distinction, then they are just as culpable in the deaths for not standing up for A: THE LAWB: WHATS RIGHT

but more importantly, ask yourself how would you feel if that was someone you knew, or a loved one? again, time for the excuses and cover ups to end, and for cops to be held accountable for their misdeads..(oh, and the " their cops so they should get away with it" excuse is dead too. WE AS CITIZENS ARE ACCOUNTABLE, SO SHOULD COPS!!)

ps i thank your husband for his dedication to protecting the public (and me), but it means nothing if its the cops breaking the law and the rest just turn a blind eye!

David
David

That man is running a Soviet era Gulag. There is no difference. In the name of trying to stop drugs, and immigration, he has become as barbaric as the soviets. Those who hurt others in jail face no penalties, they are rewarded for protecting their friends and the jail, they cover up their crimes, and apparently in a brazen way.

Big Bad D.O.
Big Bad D.O.

Damn, you caught me. Nothing gets by you... We picked that guy out of the 10,000 in custody and said "Yeah, thats the one, lets kill him.." Oh boy I hope that doesnt get out.. ...oops.. too late.

Coz
Coz

Bullshit...but nice try.

>>Big Bad D.O. from LBJ staff

wife-of-msco-officer
wife-of-msco-officer

Please do not lump every officer into this. I know plenty of MSCO officers who take their jobs very seriously. I would say, you can't criticize until you have walked a mile in their shoes. They deal with rapist, murderers, drug addicts and the like and their lives are in danger every single shift. Think of what you would do if you would in their situations.

brandon
brandon

if any people want to know more about mr sheriff joes jail on the inside please contact me. i was resently arested for a minor trafic violation and was not treated like a human y i was there in acordance with loosing my job over a trafic ticket wen they were realesing people that were actualy in jail for felony crimes like robery ecsetera..

Big Bad D.O.
Big Bad D.O.

I invite anyone to come take a tour of LBJ, or any of our jails for that matter. What you see on the news, or read in new times for that matter (which has a known bias against MCSO), is utter bullshit. I PROMISE that the full facts of this case have not been released. As far as not releasing video... its policy, not hiding. I honestly WISH the video of this man's actions towards officers and staff WERE released. He was not only going through alcohol withdraws, he was also on about every known street drug under the sun. Alcohol withdraws are a bitch, and they kill... a lot, if they are bad enough. This mans actions warranted the exact level of force that he received. He was not 'beaten', I assure you. He was however, restrained.... aggressively. The bruises you see are from altercations from other inmates who threattened to kill him. The two officers that used the exact same report, were probably doing so out of fear.. at any rate, its obvious that which ever officer wrote it, cant write reports for shit. I hope they are punished for their actions (the report copying). Im sure the insurance company will pay out..again... and it wont go to trail (again..), which is a shame. Seriously folks, come on down and have a look. I REALLY wish people didnt believe everything they heard, but then again.. I dont know why I'd expect more from sheep. I hope to GOD someone leaks the video footage on this one... LBJ has ~800 cameras... its ALL there.

Coz
Coz

Ahhh yes, more sanctioned killing in Maricopa County Jails by Arpaio and his Monkey's.

Another civil suit that's going to cost us, the tax payers millions of dollars.

Where does it end ?

Ed
Ed

Patricia, if the "people" who work in "law enforcement" were given psychological evaluations, I guarantee that there would be no one left to work in "law enforcement".

MCSOJG
MCSOJG

The Jail Guards Did their Jobs well, and if You come to our Jail we can show you the same Hospitality as the Last poor Sucker. That guy Needed to DIE. He was a Danger to himself and others. WE ARE THE LAW, You Have No Rights, Except Those WE GIVE YOU, so Get Used to it, and Do as Your Told, and Maybe You will Live to See Tomorrow.

patricia jenske
patricia jenske

I am constantly sickened to my stomache over the reported treatment of inmates in the MCSO. Why does it seem that the people that work for MCSO get away with so much abuse? Those people the are abusive ought to have the same thing done to them as they do to inmates. The jail system seems to be brutal! Also, do they do psycological reports on the stability of the people they hire? Seems like alot of people have skeletons in their closets.....

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

I only hope that the family and friends of this man deal with the deputies who killed him on a "personal" level. I can assure you if this were my friend or family member, the legal system would be the least of these punk wannabe cops concerns!

Jiffwww.anonymize.us.tc

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

First-rate work by Mr. Dickerson. That includes not only all of the new information developed, but also probably the best summary of related cases I have ever seen published by New Times, as well as the seamless tie-in. Mr. Dickerson didn't take anything for granted and didn't permit the The Usual Suspects to get away with their habitual lies, misleading omissions, mischaracterizations, equivocation, and other obfuscatory nonsense.

I note that the written testimonies of the guards Kush and Trueman are identical even down to typographic errors.

For example, both wrote "After his legs (sic) chains..." -- nor could this indicate habitual deviant usage by MCSO personnel because in the previous sentence both used the correct term "leg chains".

So, it was a spelling error that snuck into a master draft and the genius who cut and paste the text into the "independent" testimonies either didn't catch it or couldn't be bothered to correct it.

david saint
david saint

Bruce:so do you work for MCSO, or are you just another racist POS? Because any right minded, sane person would never say that because someone violated their probation and drank they deserved to die. Your just saying that because hes mexican. just admit it....your a scumbag..

bruce
bruce

this man brought this on himself with his criminal behavior i believe that the police acted according standard procedure.all this fool had to do was obey orders and act like a civilized human and act like a man.he chose to act like an animal and got what he deserved now we have one less criminal on the lose.

david saint
david saint

sorry, i deleted part of it on accident...but the part when i said "gee i wonder" referred to "i wonder why thomas and arpaio tried to get all of the judges removed..now any sane person can see why"..

david saint
david saint

Mikey:that would be a good solution, but someone has to have it put in place, and no one seems to want to hold them accountable...maybe the judge in hart vs arpaio hopefully will though, because the judges seem to be the only ones recognizing the madness and not taking part....gee, i wonder Im just disgusted to be an American when i read that cops and jail staff are continously in the middle of inmate deaths and breaking the law, and nothing happens to them. Sounds more like Zimbabwe than Arizona..maybe we should start calling it AZ/Zimbabwe Confidential.??

Gizzaed
Gizzaed

Nice job Arpaio. Another death due to inadequate training of your jail guards and the response. How many millions will this one cost? If I can help the family financially in anyway with legal expenses to go after your ass, I will. I wonder if your guards fondled him before he died?

Arpaio You Suck!

Mikey
Mikey

The solution is simple: Don't keep the recording equipment in the jails. Don't let MCSO have any access at all to the cameras, computers, or disks. Have this housed somewhere that would have whatever jurisdiction and security classification to handle the devices. If you have the people who may be guilty able to access the evidence showing if they are guilty, you're gonna have this kind of BS happen all the time.

David Saint
David Saint

SO let me get this straight, 8 guards have been proven to have beaten inmates and nothing has happened. HELLO, EARTH TO FBI..TIME TO DO YOUR F'N JOBS ALREADY, OR ARE YOU WAITING UNTIL MCSO STARTS LYNCHING INMATES PUBLICLY IN FRONT OF THE JAIL? i mean come one already, how far does it have to go until someone stops whats amounting to county sponsored murder? The internal joke dept over at MCSO has never found anyone responsible/guilty for their actions, not even one thats caught speeding more than 45mph over the speed limit on a surface street. Its time someone stepped up and proved that cops arent above the law, without reprocussion for their actions. Without cops you have anarchy, but with cops and detention officers continuing to break the law without reprocussion you have INSANITY! I find it totally amusing also that Thomas recently accused opponent Nelson of taking donations by defense attorneys so they can get better deals. Hey Andy, try PROSECUTING ONE OF THE MANY MURDERS BY DO'S BEFORE YOU START THAT BS.

Susan Rastella
Susan Rastella

You must be joking, right? Did Arpaio pay you to post this?

 
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