REZA UNBOWED

On Friday, July 30, in an act of classic retaliation by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Phoenix civil rights leader Salvador Reza was kidnapped by a pack of armed thugs in the employ of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

That the men who took Reza into custody were peace officers only makes their abduction of the 58-year-old longtime Arpaio critic that much more egregious. Calling it an "arrest" gives the incident a legitimacy it does not deserve.

Reza, who had been collared the day before during an act of civil disobedience at the Fourth Avenue Jail, had been watching a demonstration taking place at the 35th Avenue entrance to an MCSO facility near Lower Buckeye Road. That's where Arpaio had set up a command post for his most recent Hispanic-hunting dragnet.

In a bold move of defiance, 11 activists spontaneously decided to block the driveway leading in and out of Arpaio's headquarters. MCSO vehicles were prevented from exiting, albeit not for long. And the 11 activists were arrested.

Even the MCSO's "probable cause" statement for Reza's abduction noted that Reza, of the group Puente, was across the four-lane avenue, nowhere near the action.

But that was not far enough away to keep the MCSO from ginning up an excuse to put Reza in cuffs. Sheriff's Office goons blocked traffic, walked across the street, took custody of Reza, and hustled him back to the command post, a political prisoner of the sheriff.

The entire incident was captured on video by local media and by members of Puente. One of the deputies involved had a hand on his gun throughout the episode. The scene resembled something you might have seen in Argentina when a military junta ruled that country and dissidents regularly "disappeared."

Reza was placed in the back of a van, where he was kept for several hours before being transported to Fourth Avenue Jail. At one point, the MCSO opened up the van to display Reza to reporters and photographers, as if he were a just-captured prisoner of war.

"If they can do this to me," he told journalists before refusing interviews, "what do you expect they can do to anybody else?"

At Fourth Avenue, Reza was forced to don stripes and placed in solitary confinement. As with his detention the night before, he was not allowed a phone call — nor was he read his Miranda rights — he told me afterward.

About 150 Reza supporters held a raucous all-night vigil outside the main entrance to the jail. A sound system was set up, blasting everything from cumbia to rock en español as demonstrators chanted and danced, sometimes in the pouring rain.

MCSO detention officers watched the improbable revelry from the roof of the building and from a side entrance. But they did nothing, allowing the dancers to turn the street into an impromptu block party.

When I asked one officer on a smoke break to explain the MCSO's hands-off approach to the gathering, he simply shrugged.

"It's a free country," he said.

I suspect their nonchalance had more to do with a lack of manpower to clear the street. Following Arpaio's sweep, his SWAT team members were probably tucked into bed, chasing illegal dishwashers in their dreams.

Reza's initial appearance before night court Commissioner Julia Lopez occurred about 3:30 a.m. At that point, the county prosecutor made a startling admission concerning the MCSO's probable-cause statement, which alleged that Reza had violated the terms of his release the night before.

Looking at a statement from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, he said, "I did not see that this rose to the level of probable cause."

Lopez agreed, telling the deputy county attorney, "I do not have enough information to find probable cause in this matter, sir."

She declined a request from Reza's attorney, Robert Pastor, to dismiss the bogus charge of "interfering with a judicial proceeding," which covers ignoring a court order.

All the same, she cut Reza loose sans bond and set an August 18 court date.

Reza was released just after sunrise to the elation of the weary crowd outside Fourth Avenue. He explained that, from his vantage point, MCSO Deputy Chief Brian Sands, Arpaio's longtime henchman and a man who would have felt right at home in the old Soviet KGB, was in charge of his arrest.

In the probable-cause statement itself, which you can read on my Feathered Bastard blog, the MCSO contends that Reza violated the terms of his release by coming in contact with one of the officers involved in his July 29 arrest, notoriously unprofessional MCSO SWAT team Captain David Letourneau.

But that lame excuse is belied by the probable-cause statement's observation that Reza was across the street from any MCSO officers. The MCSO initiated contact with Reza, not the other way around.

"I think it's going to be a long time before they break me," Reza laughed upon his release. "I was ready to go 18 days . . . That's when the court date is."

(During a press conference four days after the latest arrest, County Attorney Rick Romley agreed with the judge in the case and dropped the charge against Reza.)

Reza has another reason to laugh: the obvious lawsuit he has on his hands for false arrest and imprisonment and the violation of his constitutional rights.

To handle that angle, Reza has retained Stephen Montoya, the dogged Phoenix attorney who represented plaintiffs in the first oral argument over SB 1070 before district court Judge Susan R. Bolton.

Montoya lamented that Arpaio cannot be sued directly. As with all of Arpaio's false arrests and the harassment of his political enemies — not to mention the numerous deaths in his jails — it's the (sigh) taxpayers of Maricopa County who foot the bill.

"God," exclaimed Montoya, "with all the millions of dollars [the county] has spent defending Joe Arpaio and defending judgments against him, we probably could have built . . . five or six schools."

BOLTON'S GAMBIT

If folks thought that Bolton's gutting the key provisions of SB 1070 would throw H2O on the flames of indignation and outrage over the "breathing-while-brown" statute, July 29's demonstrations proved them wrong.

Bolton ripped out the heart of SB 1070: the provision that would have required cops to demand papers of those they had a reasonable suspicion were in the country illegally. This, during any valid stop.

Her July 28 preliminary injunction also put on hold the part of the law that required legal resident aliens to carry their registration docs with them at all times, as well as a provision preventing day laborers here illegally from soliciting business.

Ditto the language mandating an immigration check after every arrest before the arrestee is released.

Governor Jan Brewer's team of pricey legal beagles at the Phoenix firm Snell & Wilmer asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited hearing on Bolton's injunction. The Ninth Circuit immediately shot that down. Instead, oral arguments in the matter will be heard the first week of November — not in September, as Brewer's attorneys wanted.

Essentially, I was correct when I predicted a couple of weeks ago that the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against SB 1070 would prevail.

Of course, the feds' suit, as well as the six other complaints against 1070 in the system, are ongoing. But Bolton filed her enjoinment in answer to the DOJ's action, and no one should doubt the impact of the federal government's arguing that SB 1070 usurped the feds' supremacy on immigration matters or that it interfered with U.S. foreign policy.

This was also the view of University of Arizona law professor Jack Chin.

"It imposes a certain drama on the situation when the actual State Department says there are foreign policy implications," he told me recently.

He pointed out that, technically, it shouldn't matter who is bringing such a lawsuit. But it does carry more weight when it's the feds complaining that their rights are getting trampled versus a third party saying the same thing.

Concerning Brewer's suggestion that she may call a special session of the Arizona Legislature to "fix" 1070, Chin said that a special session could complicate matters but that Bolton would still retain authority over the case and could alter the injunction if need be.

"This is a case, I hope, where the courts are going to do what they can to come to a decision on the merits," he offered. "That being said, I'm not sure what [the Legislature] can do to fix [1070]. Because the things [in it] were unfixable."

Nevertheless, I wouldn't put it past Brewer and neo-Nazi hugging state Senator Russell Pearce, the chief sponsor of 1070, to throw a monkey wrench into the court proceedings by messing around with the statute, thus forcing Bolton and, perhaps, the Ninth Circuit to re-examine 1070's Frankenstein corpse.

Bolton's edict has enraged right-wingers to threats of outright violence. She was reportedly deluged with incensed correspondence, some of it threatening her safety.

And though the pro-immigrant movement welcomed Bolton's enjoinment, many in it were still angered by the climate of hate in Arizona and the fact that Bolton's injunction didn't cover several troubling provisions.

For instance, local law enforcement agencies still are prohibited from adopting polices that limit the enforcement of federal immigration law. Private citizens can sue those entities if they believe they have.

Also, 1070's "harboring" provision remains in place, and it could affect those rendering humanitarian assistance to illegal aliens, or even offering them a ride.

Day laborers are still on the hook if they impede the flow of traffic when getting picked up by prospective employers, who also can be collared.

And as former state Senate majority leader Alfredo Gutierrez reminded me shortly before he was arrested by U.S. Marshals during an act of civil disobedience at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse on the 29th, nativist pols such as Pearce already are coming up with new ways to torment Latinos.

"The people who proposed this law are still governing us," Gutierrez said. "And they are still at this very moment meeting in some dark cellar, concocting new schemes . . . to oppress our community."

The insidious plot to deprive the children of illegal immigrants their 14th Amendment guarantee of birthright citizenship is one of these schemes.

Recently, someone reminded me of a Malcolm X quote, which is worth recalling and seems to sum up the feelings of many on the pro-immigrant side:

"You don't stick a knife in a man's back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches and say you're making progress."

PHOENIX ON FIRE

I only wish every day in Phoenix could be July 29.

The massive civil disobedience downtown and beyond actually began with a daring stunt a day earlier.

Four activists scaled a massive crane near Jefferson Street and Central Avenue. Two of them dangled from the crane hundreds of feet in the air and unfurled an immense banner that read: "Stop the Hate," with "287g" and "1070" crossed out in circles.

(Note: 287(g) is the federal program that allows local cops to enforce federal immigration law, if their agency has a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

The four (plus one who was acting as a liaison to the police) were arrested for trespassing after they came down. Cesar Maxit, one of the daredevil activists, told me following their release that they were all experienced climbers out to make a point.

"We had safety lines," he said. "But immigrants who live in Arizona under SB 1070, and immigrants who live around the country under 287(g), don't have a safety line. So while we had some risks, it's a lot more dangerous being an immigrant in the United States."

The next day, Phoenix became a maelstrom of direct action against 1070 and the United States' immigration laws. Seventy-one people were arrested by the Phoenix Police Department, the MCSO, and U.S. Marshals.

Three were collared at the federal courthouse early in the day in arrests that had been prearranged with authorities. Later, a few hundred protesters took over the block of Washington Street near the Wells Fargo Building, where Arpaio keeps two floors of expensive executive offices.

Cops ordered the crowd to move to the sidewalks. Some decided to hold their ground and be arrested. By day's end, 45 in all were cuffed and taken away by the Phoenix PD.

The remainder were arrested during a protest outside the Fourth Avenue Jail, where six demonstrators had locked their arms together with PVC pipe in a move known in activist circles as the "sleeping dragon."

The MCSO responded with a phalanx of deputies in riot gear. The six, and numerous others, including Sal Reza, were dragged into the giant steel doors of Fourth Avenue Jail's central intake.

As my space is limited here, I suggest you check out my full report of the day's events on my Feathered Bastard blog.

I was particularly impressed with the actions of the many members of the Unitarian Universalist church, some of whom had come from across the country to protest 1070.

The Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray of Phoenix was one of those who'd locked her arms in the sleeping dragon.

"SB 1070 arises out of fear," she told me before she was hauled off by deputies. "I am here on the side of love. Love is more powerful than fear."

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Doto
Doto

I'm Canadian, and that's my excuse for being deliberately obtuse to make a point...We have a serious problem as well although nothing like you guys...not yet...so you really have my sympathies..here it's Asian gangs and S. American street dealers (Vancouver)it's great, they get in from Honduras, sell crack on the East Side, if they get busted, big deal, no jail time, we PAY to fly you home :) isn't that nice? That's the first time, so they just come right on back, get busted again? yup, you guessed it..

So it seems to me, the wrong people are being accused of racism,If you have Person A.."A" gets pulled over for expired tagsAfter even a cursory check gives probable cause to assume "A" >MAY< be in the country illegally....Which is a CRIME(Let's say he was inconsistent in statements about his living address, the owner of the car, fake ID/NO ID, who knows)Are the protesters of this law saying -If "A" (regardless if A was guilty of anything or not) proves to be 'latino', this suspicion should be ignored? That's absurd... "A" should be 'exempt' (for lack of a better word) from the mere POSSIBILITY that they could be an illegal alien? Because he's 'Latino'?THAT sounds racist to me, knowing one group would get special/different treatment by law enforcement based on your (still unproven!) assumed race/nationality?So it's "I can't be an illegal alien, cause I'm from Mexico"? Or "Cause I don't speak English"?Huh??what if "A" met all of the above criteria ALSO, but instead of 'Latino' he appeared to be 'Middle Eastern' and spoke with a thick accent?I love my freedoms too but I would not expect, but DEMAND the officer who pulled "A" over to thoroughly investigate this man I'm sorry but that's that, that's called PROBABLE CAUSE, and it all starts, not because "A" is an "immigrant"/"foreign"/ or a member of the "Feel-Good-Race-O'-The-Week" it is because "A" did >something< to cause a law enforcement officer to be interviewing/questioning/arresting/ them! Because (lets face it) if you get pulled over it's usually because I did something wrong, random roadblocks are an unfortunate but necessary exception to I have to accept that as we all do)

nowimfound
nowimfound

nope, no bias here {rolls eyes}. Leading a protest that stops law enforcement officers and emergency vehicles from being able to leave the station and respond to an emergency definitely qualifies as an offense. The fact that this scumbag was in the area shows he was there to cause trouble but didn't have the cajones to sit in on it himself. Or are you dumb enough to believe he just happened to be across the street buying a new pair of work boots?

Susan Shao
Susan Shao

If you Mexicans don't like the way we arrest illegals than stop trying to jump the fence, pay for coyotes to kidnap you for ransom, and stop whining. Your web site should be shut down for attacking innocent citizens of the US. We don't want you here..

Gofuckyporself
Gofuckyporself

im guessing most SHERRIf supporters on here are white? right? yeah.

That's it...
That's it...

Hurricane of Civil Disobedience? You are an arse. Get a grip on reality lemon.

SRAA
SRAA

If the sherrif is so corrupt and breaking laws why hasnt anything been done to get him out of office. The mayor keeps trying but nothing sticks. I dont know about you but I am proud that he sticks to what he says and enforces all laws. If the politicians want him out of office so bad that just tells me that they cant control him and he is not in their pocket.

Photosbysaraa
Photosbysaraa

I read the probable cause statement and it doesnt say anything about him being arrested for talking to an officer, it says he was actively participated in the rally..this makes me think the judge told him to stay away from the whole thing do we have a copy of that?

WinstonSmith
WinstonSmith

I have a hobby. Every Wednesday I drive around to the locations in my neighborhood that have New Times stands and I openly take the entire stack of freshly printed papers and pile them in my car. After a couple hours I usually gather about 500 papers or so (total guess on my part, I have never bothered to count). I then take them to the first dumpster I find and throw them in. I call it my personal BOYCOTT. I know it isn't much, but I take heart in the knowledge that I am doing my part to take down the mindless PC-propaganda machine that is called the New Times. If you are like me, and you are sick to death of the hateful extremist bullshit that is constantly streaming out of this paper I encourage you to do the same thing. Every time you see a New Times stand take all the papers in the stand and throw them away. Together we can force the editors of the New Times to go back to the good old "Entertainment" reporting they used to engage in. Otherwise we will simply bury them. Either way works for me.

RicardoCabeza
RicardoCabeza

That 'protest' at the jail should have been like setting a fire a dump, it's a way to flush out rats and shoot them.

H Folker
H Folker

I have lived in Arizona for the past 36 years, close enough to be called a native i think. And i still do not understand why the people of Arizona keep voteing this clown back in office!?? This Idoit has done nothing except break the law, and embarrass the State, and the people of AZ. Don't you think enough, is enough?? get someone else in that office!!

That's it...
That's it...

I AM a native, not near-native...he does not embarrass me or the state of Arizona...you choose to be embarrassed and for that, I am embarrassed for you.

SB1070
SB1070

http://www.maricopacountyattor...From Rick Romley:

The MCAO is frequently asked how illegal immigration impacts crime. In response, the office undertook a landmark research project in 2008. The study concluded that approxi¬mately 21% of those sentenced for felonies in Maricopa County are in the United States il¬legally, despite the fact that the best estimates show illegal immigrants make up 9% of the local population. More specifically, illegal immigrants accounted for 16.5% of those sentenced for violent crimes; 18.5% of those sentenced for property crimes; 33.5% of those sentenced for the manufacture, sale, or trans¬port of drugs; and 44.4% of those sentenced for forgery and fraud. In releasing the research, County Attorney Andrew Thomas commented, “Our border crisis is directly fueling Arizona’s crime rates. While all of us should welcome legal immigrants as a source of great eco-nomic and social vitality for our country, we must at the same time acknowledge the high price we are paying for illegal immigration.”

Isn't that the same Rick Romley that released Reza?

This is comedy gold.

SB1070
SB1070

Hmmm. How did Reza make out on the 18th? Shouldn't you be rushing to print the follow up?

Clarity
Clarity

MCSO - Most Corrupt Sheriff's Office.

Despite opposing opinions expressed in previous comments, thisinformation must continue to be brought to the surface in order toshowcase the wrongs perpetrated by those who would seek tooppress justice.

Arizona, The Nazi State
Arizona, The Nazi State

Yes, the Nazi's in Arizona sure love their Fuhrer Arpaio.Fuck that piece of shit, hope someone blows his fucking head off.

Punkbitch924
Punkbitch924

Keep up the good work MCSO, at least someone is helping keep Arizona safe. If you dont live here and see what we Arizonans have to deal with everyday, then dont open your mouth about racism and what not. You dont see it how we live it. Being here for a day doesnt justify your opinions either. Stop judging our police system. Its not perfect but they are doing what they are suppose to do...Protect Americans and their state/country.

its called sarcasm
its called sarcasm

Stephen,

This is the best piece of reporting I have ever witnessed. How have you not moved on to bigger and better things yet? The NY Times MUST be pounding down your door by now! Such vivid imagery! Such unbiased, fair, and balanced writing! 'Goons'... 'neo-Nazi'... I can almost TASTE the sweet, sweet vitriol spewing from your keyboard. And it tastes like... tacos - wait, that's racist... umm, organic food (thank you stuffwhitepeoplelike.com)! Simply brilliant! It's too bad you lean (like a chollo - dammit! sorry, I did it again) just to the left, because Fox News could use someone with your talent (though, terrifyingly, it somehow manages to be the nation's most-watched news channel, even without you)!

::sigh:: At least I can count on the New Times to give me recommendations for some great local restaurants. Any place you'd recommend Stephen?

Neumadessa
Neumadessa

MCSO has a long history of arresting without probable cause. This must end and the sheriff must be sanctioned.

X-jr
X-jr

Deut Chapt 15 Verse 11 King James Version (Abraham’s GOD)For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

X-jr
X-jr

Psalm Chapt 10 Verse 2 King James Version (Abraham’s GOD)The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let the wicked be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

AZ Reign of Terror must end!
AZ Reign of Terror must end!

Stephen, Well documented, investigative reporting. It doesn't get any better than this. What more does the DOJ and FBI need? Especially is a county where a nonviolent, first offense puts it's citizens behind bars for decades. This abuse of power is beyond belief in America!

Labs
Labs

Is this supposed to be a serious news publication? If so, they fail miserably.

Guest
Guest

If there so idiotic, why are you here reading them dumbshit ?

Guest
Guest

Wow...another biased article about MCSO from The New Times. What a surprise! Are these guys even a news agency? I thought the new times is what people picked up to find where the local strip clubs or smoke shops were at..? Is this Lemons guy trying to actually report some News or just force his liberal views on us as usual? Considering that a massive majority of Arizona/U.S. citizens support Arpaio and another massive majority support SB1070, I have to go with the later.Please continue spewing your idiotic liberal views through these articles, it is successfully rallying the State and Country to get off their butts and do something about it. November can't come soon enough for 70% of the nation to vote in many more just like Joe and Jan. Thank you for all you do for the cause, it couldn't be as successful nor could it be building as much momentum if it weren't for screwballs like Lemons smacking the masses in the face with his backwards thinking.

haha.
haha.

"Force liberal views on us"... no one is asking you to read the New Times, knuckledragger. Its obvious its a liberal paper, just as Fox is a conservative news organization, which I ignore happily, I suggest you do the same if you're so easily upset. I'm not one for open borders, but if you're willing to pay to live in a police state, well by all means, be so stupid, its a free country. Arpaio is a waste of fucking cash, thousands of dollars spent to capture a few illegals each sweep, wonderful. God knows how much that jack ass spent on the truck and 50 cal. he brought out to the desert "looking for smugglers" A.K.A. publicity stunt, If you think he was using that truck and gun for anything else other than to look pretty standing next to, you're an idiot. Enjoy your ignorance, at least you can do it in the presence of other idiots.

Truth08
Truth08

I would hope Montoya/Reza, case against the taxpayer "fleecing" Sheriff, would be swift. This way the payout judgement, could be used against the him! Furthermore, I hope th DOJ, gets its act together, and stops the "leniency" it has given the "Senile 'o Coot". Maybe even put him in his own "tent city"!

Ha!!

Regards,Truth08

Guest
Guest

The time has come to put an end to this Nazi Arpaio and his SS Clowns

Coz
Coz

Only if the king Nazi's like Pearce and Arpaio say it is in Nazicopa County, AZ that is.

>>"It's a free country," he said.

Cozland
Cozland

Hey FBI, How much proof is needed that Arputo's goons are nothing more than Nazi SS Officers working for a reincarnation of Hitler as Arpaio ?

Bishop
Bishop

what a stupid thing to say...do you have any idea who the Nazis or the SS were? not to mention what they did. My grandparents died in a concentration camp of starvation and you compare AZ law officials to the Nazis. How far over your belt does your gut hang?

MaryK
MaryK

Not Hitler. Goebbels. You know, they guy who said stuff about people will believe a big lie more easily than a small truth?

 
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