By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"I know they have had him and his family under surveillance starting years ago, have illegally wire-tapped his home phone over the years, taken his trash from his home and illegally invaded his privacy over and over again with reckless disregard of his rights. Unfortunately, I have taken part in some of these actions."
When Cozzolino's attorney asked the sheriff for the videotapes of the witness interviews, large sections were indeed missing — the sections where witnesses corroborated Cozzolino's statements.
When the attorney asked for the backup audio tapes that the Sheriff's Office always makes, a deputy said there were no backup tapes.
In a subsequent deposition, the attorney asked an investigator about backups and was told that there were numerous backups made for both the sheriff and the county attorney.
This startling deposition was taken on Friday; by Monday, the prosecutor presented a settlement offer.
"All [the County Attorney's Office] wanted was the discharge of a weapon. Jim would be probation-eligible," the attorney told New Times.
But Cozzolino didn't get probation.
Arpaio intervened personally with the court, and Cozzolino was sentenced to four months in the sheriff's jail.
Cozzolino was granted work release, which allowed him to go to his job and return to Tent City at night. For no apparent reason, deputies routinely forced Cozzolino to take drug and alcohol tests after his return to custody.
On February 5, 2004, Cozzolino tested positive for methamphetamine.
Cozzolino was thrown into solitary confinement, facing revocation of his plea agreement and prison time.
Unable to contact his lawyer or family, Cozzolino's request for a second test was ignored. This was important because the results of the meth test were valid for only three days. After that, there would simply be a report saying he'd flunked the exam.
Within hours of going to solitary, the county probation department received a phone call from an honest deputy urging a quick second test.
The probation department moved immediately, and a second test was scheduled; Cozzolino was clean.
A third test by a private laboratory confirmed that Cozzolino was drug free.
President Obama secured the Nobel Peace Prize with his "New Beginnings" speech delivered June 4 in Cairo. The remarks reversed the policies of his predecessor and went on to lay out the argument — one would think the point almost mundane — for the brotherhood of man.
The obvious sources of conflict were reviewed.
"It is easy to point fingers" said Obama, "for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel's founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history . . . The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security."
President Obama addressed the needs and aspirations of what troubles all world leaders, the prospect of a failed state: Palestine.
Yet Obama ignores that his Southwestern border with Mexico is its own failed state and that Sheriff Arpaio is part of the problem.
In fewer than three years, 14,000 died along that border in the drug war over who will supply America's cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
During the Intifada, from 2000 to 2006, the International Middle East Media Center estimated that as many as 4,000 Palestinians died. In a similar six-year period from the founding of Israel in 1949 until 1956, Oxford professor Avi Shlaim counted as many as 5,000 slain Palestinians.
The three-year death total on the Mexican border dwarfs those numbers.
In the current issue of Atlantic magazine, Phillip Caputo reports the drug war claimed 1,600 lives in Juarez last year and another 1,800 lives for the first nine months of this year. Never mind Kabul; Juarez is now the "most violent city in the world."
While the Pentagon worries about the entire Mexican nation, there is no question whatsoever about the border.
In the absence of a rational American policy of work visas and immigration, these same drug gangs at war in Mexico took over control of human smuggling.
The fallout from this failed border situation is not confined to Mexico.
In February, ABC News reported that Phoenix was America's — if not the world's — capital of kidnapping, almost all of it tied to smuggling. The police reported 359 cases in 2007, though most understand that the number is significantly higher because many victims are too frightened to report the ransom demands.
Between 300 and 400 immigrants — the number varies from year to year — die annually in the expansive deserts of the Southwest, the greatest number in Arizona, as they attempt to enter the country for work.
It is against this background that Barack Obama's stalled Justice Department investigation raises serious questions.
Polls consistently show overwhelming support for crackdowns on Mexican migrants.
And no public figure in America is more identified with rounding up migrants than Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The abuse — physical, emotional, familial — of the immigration roundups has been well documented in this newspaper (see "Arpaio Racial Profiling," under "Special Reports," at www.phoenixnewtimes.com).
The intimidation and jailing of those who exercise their First Amendment right to criticize the sheriff has been reported in these pages since Arpaio's first election in 1992 (see "Major Articles on Joe Arpaio" and "Sheriff Joe Archive," also under "Special Reports," on our Web site).
Are you kidding me...
"President Barack Obama gracefully accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway."
Since then he has illegally started or involved us with wars in Libya and Syria, intensified fighting in Afghanistan, and claimed to withdraw our troops from Iraq, after the Iraqi government refused to extend our stay and grant immunity to U.S. Soldiers. This of course, was the timeline set by the previous war criminal, Bush.
Could you be any more biased in your "journalism" with this article?