Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, November 20, 2008
ICE's new boss is full of it: The Bird's reaming of new ICE boss Matthew Allen was a breath of fresh air in this banana republic, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his wife, County Attorney Candy Thomas, reign with the blue-hairs and crackers who make up (as we saw again in the recent election) a majority of the electorate in this county ("Mr. Disingenuous," Stephen Lemons, November 6).
It's a truly depressing state of affairs around here, and it's good to see that New Times is still calling a spade a spade. Matthew Allen is a disgrace to the federal government. I can only believe that the new Democratic administration in Washington will remove him and others like him, and bring some sanity to immigration enforcement.
For Allen to say there have been no complaints against Arpaio's sweeps — which are always about racial profiling — is just plain bullshit. Doesn't this idiot, Allen, read New Times or watch TV? Didn't he see all the publicity on Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's complaints about the sheriff? What a fool to make public comments that everybody knows are lies.
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Allen's just happy that the opportunist sheriff is willing to do the dirty work for his lazy band of banditos, whose job now is only to wait for deliveries from the MCSO and draw their fat federal paychecks. [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] always has been a sick joke. Matthew Allen, your days on the public tit are numbered with the Obama administration [soon to be] in power.
Al Thompson, Phoenix
ICE ripped 73,000 families apart: Matthew Allen is the U.S. government's version of Adolf Eichmann — a conscienceless bureaucrat whose sole goal is the removal of an entire people from the area in his control. Look at ICE's recent numbers: 72,955 deported in the last year ("Local ICE Office Removed . . .," Ray Stern, Valley Fever blog).
Think of that as 72,955 families ripped apart, children left without one or both parents. How Allen and the others who aid him at ICE sleep at night is beyond me.
Joshua Peters, Mesa
Thanks for nothing, DeConcini: As a fellow Barack Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, I'm disgusted with [former U.S. Senator] Dennis DeConcini ("DeCon Dumbass," The Bird, November 6). He was elected as an at-large delegate at the state nominating convention back in April by promising to go after McCain with every fiber of his being. He [said he] needed to be a delegate so that he could share all the dirt he had on McCain so we could all be empowered to defeat him.
That con job, coupled with the fact that the median age of Democratic state committee members is about 83, garnered him enough votes to be sent to Denver, even though he hadn't done dick for Obama up until then. He didn't do diddly at the convention that I could see. Nor did I see hide nor hair of that dirt-sharing he promised.
So instead of doing robo-calls and fliers for, you know, Obama, he chose to conduct his vendetta against McCain via a local sheriff's race. As if anyone but old people gives a shit what he thinks, or even knows who he is. The blue-hairs [voted] for Joe Arpaio anyway, but Dennis, perhaps, could have swayed a few to vote Obama. Thanks for nothing, asshole.
Here's your wake-up call, people: Only in Maricopa County can someone get away with the negligence [of] County Attorney Andrew Thomas ("Nursing Injustice," Stephen Lemons, October 30). Mike Nifong, the D.A. in the Duke [lacrosse] case, got disbarred for doing something quite similar [to what happened in the Courtney Bisbee prosecution]. He also refused to follow the evidence, or lack thereof.
It makes one wonder how we got to this point. I suppose the same way immigration issues got so bad. People just turned a blind eye because it didn't affect them directly. Well, here's your wake-up call people! It can happen to you! We need justice in the County Attorney's Office, not one man's political ambitions trumping justice.
David Saint, Phoenix
The ball's in your court, Andrew Thomas: Letter to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P. Thomas: It's impossible for you to claim that you haven't received the new evidence and proof of innocence in Courtney Bisbee's case. We have learned that:
• On May 29, 2007, the Scottsdale Police Department forwarded a binder of the new evidence to your office.
• In June 2007, Attorney General Terry Goddard's office forwarded the same new evidence to your office, which was acknowledged by prosecutor Renee Baca.
• In June 2007, a South Carolina private investigator contacted your office and spoke with bureau chief Rachel Mitchell. The investigator expressed concern about a cover-up.
• In June 2007, October 2007, November 2007, and December 2007, you received motions for release, which included new evidence as exhibits, which were recorded at the Maricopa County courthouse.
We are gravely concerned by your conscious avoidance to learn the truth in Courtney Bisbee's case. Many have waited patiently for you to fulfill your ethical and professional obligations as county attorney.
Dawn Kirkpatrick, Citizens Coalition for Courtney Bisbee's Freedom
That's called victim-blaming, Katie: Your paper is kind of schizoid. This was such an obviously one-sided story that I had to stop reading after the first few pages. Okay, this stupid woman may have gotten the shaft by the legal system, but she put herself in this position — and that is glossed over by the writer.
I'm a fan of New Times, though. I really loved the stories by Paul Rubin on the Faylene Grant drowning case ("Death Wish," October 9, and "Cracked Case," October 16), and can't wait to read about it when the trial happens. Also, I like Sarah Fenske's columns because she seems like a fun (if very conservative) person.
Katie Daniels, Phoenix
Crooked cop: In this day and age, a nurse can be arrested and put away for 66 days without being officially charged, then accusations can be trumped up without investigation, and she gets put away for 11 years?
Detective Christopher Kinder needs to be dealt with — demoted and his badge turned in. And we're paying for all this? I certainly think we could do a better job in a city this large. This town should be in an uproar of phone calls.
Because he stands on ethically shaky ground: Why does County Attorney Thomas continue to ignore his duty to right the wrongs in the Courtney Bisbee case and keep the schools and taxpayers liable for future lawsuits by the accuser, who has until he is 21 to file multimillion-dollar suits? Thomas refuses to acknowledge the new evidence proving Courtney's innocence or that this tragedy is based on a scam.
Ray ought to be bumped: I read your "Death Wish" and "Cracked Case" stories, about the death of Faylene Grant, with great interest. They were very thought-provoking. I obviously have no idea if Mr. Grant is guilty as charged, though my gut tells me that he's guilty only of being a self-centered ass.
I am very troubled by the actions of Detective Sy Ray. My brother-in-law is a detective with a local agency (not Gilbert) and, after reading the story, he said that if the writer is being factual, Detective Ray ought to be bumped back to patrol rather than be promoted and praised. If you're going to "get" someone, get him clean, not the way [Ray's] trying to railroad this defendant.
Let me send my condolences to Faylene's family for their loss. Whatever happened, it was a tragedy.
Amanda Rigby, Phoenix
But being Mormon had much to do with it: What's with all the stories suddenly in which you point out in the headline that the [subject] is Mormon? How does that really have anything to do with the overall story? It's not like these are polygamy stories, are they?
I don't see you mentioning Joe Arpaio's religion in the stories you write about him. I don't see Andy Thomas' religion making it into the headlines either.
I could understand it when you had the stories on former Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien, since his title was related to his religion, and part of the overall story was about how he acted, even though his title should have made him act differently ("What Was He Thinking?!" Michael Lacey, February 12, 2004). But making sure to place "Mormon" near "murder" in your headlines is just tacky.
Sorry, I've been a New Times fan for almost 25 years, but this is a little annoying, and I'm not even religious, let alone Mormon.
Mike Wells, via the Internet
Police must play fair with evidence: Your stories on the Mormon murder case prove how easily the system can be manipulated by law enforcement. All a cop has to do is obfuscate the truth to a grand jury, and somebody gets indicted for murder.
Most people think the system is fairer than this, but that's just based on the public's ignorance. Anybody can get railroaded by the police, whose mission it is to make the case, no matter what they have to do to do it.
What the Gilbert cop did in the Grant case was outrageous! Whether Doug Grant is guilty or not, police must play fair with evidence. Trumping up a case shouldn't be tolerated.
James Pearl, address withheld
It's an obvious suicide case: The big question concerning [the Doug Grant] case is, how did it even pass through the grand jury? This is an obvious suicide case! Your second article hit it right on the nose.
A cop tells a one-sided story to the grand jury to sway it to indict. Sergeant Sy Ray sounds like the biggest scumbag who ever walked the streets. It's funny how he was promoted for "solving" a case.
How long can Ray and the family of Faylene Grant get away with what they have done to the life of Doug Grant? How come no one has been brave enough to step up and call Ray out publicly until now?
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