Know that old song by Elvis Costello, "Watching the Detectives"? Well, Phoenix Copwatch does it for real. The volunteer organization monitors all cops in the area, but pays particular attention to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's boys in beige, especially when the MCSO is doing one of its notorious anti-immigrant sweeps of Hispanic communities.
Copwatch dogs deputies' cars, monitors their calls through radio scanners, and videotapes their interactions with those they stop. It's a tough, thankless job, but one that often pays off with better treatment toward those being pulled over. No law enforcement officer wants to be caught in the midst of violating someone's constitutional rights, you see.
In other words, when the cameras are around, the po-pos mind their Ps and Qs.
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With SB 1070 set to go into effect soon, Copwatch is looking down the barrel of a lot more work coming their way. So they're having a fundraiser this Friday June 11 at The Firehouse, 1015 N. First Street, in Phoenix, beginning at 7 p.m. A mere $5 gets you in the door, with local acts such as Press Forward, Canyon Animals, Kite 93, Lauren Farrah, and DJ Glochids performing. You can catch more info on Copwatch's Facebook page, here.
The keynote speaker at the event will be everybody's fave enemy of police brutality, activist Fronzo West, better known simply as "The Fonz." I've written about Fonz in the past. He was Copwatching before they called it Copwatching, way before the current crowd was off the Pedialyte.
Organizers tell me there will also be a raffle featuring an electric, locally-made Haymaker guitar and other prizes. Proceeds will go to support two other Phoenix activist groups, Food Not Bombs, which feeds the homeless, and Nuestros Derechos, which educates folks on their constitutional rights.