Police union's now an extremist group: PLEA has turned into a right-wing extremist group with Mark Spencer as its president, and this whole strategy with the Richard Chrisman case is proof of that ("PLEA Deal," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, November 18).
For heaven's sake, this is supposed to be the union representing all Phoenix police officers, but PLEA seems to only go to the wall for officers with whom it agrees [politically] — like Chrisman, who killed an unarmed Latino.
Because PLEA — in its zeal to back [Maricopa County] Sheriff Joe Arpaio and stomp on undocumented people — makes no distinction between Daniel Rodriguez and somebody it considers illegal-alien scum.
Jorge Padilla, Phoenix
What else was Chrisman supposed to do?: Daniel Rodriguez was a scumbag [whom] police were called out on because he was abusing his own mother! For God's sake, what's this officer supposed to do — take a ration of shit off this low-life?
Forget for a moment that Richard Chrisman's partner didn't back him up. Maybe Officer Sergio Virgillo had some affinity for the suspect — I don't know. But when a cop like Chrisman is in this kind of situation, it seems to me he has to take the suspect down for public safety's sake.
John Wayne Page
Chrisman = coward and bully: Yeah, you've got to love the propaganda campaign PLEA's behind in the Chrisman case. Trying to make it look like Officer Chrisman had to kill an unarmed man, who was going for his (gulp!) bike.
PLEA's line of reasoning is bullshit. There's no excuse for a cop to kill an unarmed man. Absolutely none! What a coward Chrisman must be!
And what a bully! Come on, Dicky boy, planting a crack pipe on a retarded woman — that was really a stand-up move. Problem with Dicky is, he's got short man's disease.
John Miller, Tempe
Simply no excuse: What is most disgusting is . . . trying to blame the murder victim, and even the other police officer. There was no reason that Daniel [Rodriguez] needed to die.
Even if he was on drugs, or had violent behavior, there were other options! There is no excuse for killing this young man. Not one.
Rose Valencia Sanchez, Phoenix
Murder two is the right charge for Chrisman: Unless Daniel Rodriguez had a gun or similar weapon, there probably wasn't a reason for Chrisman or anyone else to use a gun. OC [pepper spray] and the Taser are intended for exactly this situation, where deadly force is not justified.
I think murder two is the appropriate charge. From my perspective, without having been there, I think Chrisman was stupid and careless and, yes, very negligent, but I doubt he intended for the guy to go off.
I think it stinks that Chrisman committed this act, but I think the charge is correct, according to Arizona law.
Tommy Collins, Phoenix
Victim was unpredictable and violent: When it's either your life or theirs, I'm pretty sure you'll pick your own. Police officers have to deal with drug addicts, gang members, and plain assholes on a daily basis. These people absolutely hate officers and want to harm them.
A person on drugs [exhibits] violent behavior, and there's no telling what he's capable of.
Indefensible: Please justify shooting an unarmed man in the back. I don't give a fuck what color his skin is, what nationality he is, what he has done in the past, or whether the cop was Mother-fucking-Teresa up to that day.
Unarmed man headed away from the cop. Not reaching for a gun or a bomb. Absolutely indefensible.
Union is just doing what it's supposed to: New Times is very pro-union — that is, unless it's a law enforcement union.
This incident is exactly what a union is for. This shooting did not meet the "headline test," so some politicians are trying to exploit it at the expense of the officer involved. The sinister union is just protecting the member's due process rights.
Complete disgusting corruption: [PLEA] is pathetic for trying to support a murderer like Richard Chrisman. Complete disgusting corruption is exactly what the public expects from police officers now.
Which is a real shame for the good cops out there trying to do one of the hardest jobs on Earth.
A blemish on a good department: The guy is dead thanks to yet another South Phoenix patrolman with a chip on his shoulder.
To say his guy deserved to die for trying to pull his bike away from the officer, or because he had a prior record, is just inhumane.
This shit happens in Iran. It's not supposed to happen here, but now that Senate Bill 1070 has been signed by [Governor Jan] Brewer — and has yet to go into effect — cops, rednecks, rednecks in yuppie clothing, neo-Nazis, and just plain ignorant, uneducated people will use any excuse to say a murder is justified, as long as the one murdered is brown.