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Bruce Jacobs Accused of "Verbal Attack" on Widow of Slain Phoenix Officer Nick Erfle

Bruce Jacobs

By Ray Stern

Right-wing ranter Bruce Jacobs from 550 am (KFYI) is in hot water with the Phoenix Police.

The PD just put out a press release saying Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris will be hosting a press conference at 4 p.m. today to respond to statements Jacobs made last Thursday on his radio show about the widow of a slain officer.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson, who put out the press release, tells me Harris isn't accusing Jacobs of doing anything criminal. Rather, Harris will react to the "verbal attack" Jacobs supposedly made on Julie Erfle, the wife of Officer Nick Erfle, who was gunned down last year.

Erfle's slaying by a Mexican national who had been deported previously became a cause celebre for opponents of illegal immigration, and is believed to have spurred a change in police policy that targets non-citizens for closer scrutiny during investigations for minor crimes.

Last year, Harris wrote a column in the Arizona Republic that blasted people who would use Erfle's death for political purposes, and he singled out radio talk show hosts as particularly pathetic:

"...I am also saddened when I turn on the radio and hear some useless gasbag using the murder of Officer Nick Erfle to promote a personal, racist political agenda."

Thompson says several transcripts of Jacobs' on-air remarks will be distributed at the press conference, but Thompson declined to say in advance what it was Jacobs said that Harris and Julie Erfle considered so offensive.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.