Department of Public Safety officials confirm to New Times that a stack of fliers was found at the "Occupy Phoenix" demonstration at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Phoenix yesterday. The fliers basically explain when it's OK to shoot a cop, hence the title of the document: "When Should You Shoot a Cop."
Don't go blaming the anti-establishment "occupiers" just yet, though -- DPS spokesman Bart Graves says it's currently unclear who's responsible for the fliers.
"At ths point we don't see any connection between the fliers and Occupy Phoenix," Graves tells New Times.
The stack of fliers was found yesterday by a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy and turned over to the DPS.
Graves says the DPS then notified law enforcement agencies across the state and launched an investigation into who penned the flier.
The two-page fliers outline scenarios where it's appropriate to kill "any government agent" who violates a person's Constitutional rights.
Some of those scenarios include airport security checkpoints, the border, and sobriety checkpoints.
According to the flier, "if a cop decides to treat you like livestock, you usually have only two options: submit, or kill the cop."
The flier concludes with the following paragraph:
"The next time you hear of a police officer being killed 'in the line of duty,' take a moment to consider the very real possibility that maybe in that case, the 'law enforcer' was the bad guy and the 'cop killer' was the good guy. As it happens, that has been the case more often than not through recorded history."
The spokesman for the "occupiers" tells a local radio station that members of his group are not responsible for the fliers and insists that "Occupy Phoenix" is a peaceful demonstration -- and he appears to be right.
We've spent some time with the "occupiers," and despite the personal arsenal seen in the above photo, they've been relatively tame -- as of yesterday, Phoenix police tell New Times there have only been 51 total arrests since the demonstration began about two weeks ago.
If the "occupiers" aren't responsible for the fliers, who is?
Well, according to one "occupier" who spoke to KTAR, it's time to round up all the usual suspects: the banks, the government, and corporate America, which he says probably planted the fliers in the park to make the "occupiers" look violent, in an attempt to get police to shut down the demonstration.
"Corporate America's" not typically in the business of conspiring to plant instructions on how to murder cops at a demonstration that -- as of the last time we checked out the "occupation" -- has roughly 20 people protesting in a city thousands of miles away from the epicenter of "Corporate America," New York City.
If you ask us, the smart money's on the government -- more specifically, the Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy who just happened to be in the Plaza and stumble upon this stack of murder instructions.
We sent an email to the MCSO explaining that the deputy's discovery seems a little fishy. We want to know what the deputy was doing in the Plaza (each time we've been to the demonstration, we've only seen officers from the Phoenix P.D. and the DPS. We've never seen a sheriff's deputy at "Occupy Phoenix"). We also want to know where this deputy found this stack of fliers.
Further, we asked the MCSO if there's anything to suggest that the deputy planted the fliers in an attempt to make the "occupiers" look like cop-killing maniacs.
The MCSO didn't immediately get back to us tonight. We'll let you know when it does -- check back for updates.