Local cops spying on vocal community protestors?
That's part of the conclusion reached by Beau Hodai, the Center for Media and Democracy, and DBA Press after poring over thousands of public records in a yearlong investigation examining law enforcement officials' response to organizing and protesting conducted by Occupy Wall Street and off-shoots, such as Occupy Phoenix.
DBA Press is an online news publication that tracks private and public sector corruption. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is a non-profit investigative reporting group focusing on exposing corporate spin and government propaganda.
The 80-page report claims that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are employing heavy-handed measures to track individuals who "have dared to voice opposition" to the undue influence of private corporations in public government.
Using the resources of the Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center Threat Mitigation Unit and other resources within the cop shop, law enforcement officials kept tabs on the activities of individuals with ties and suspected ties to the underwhelming Occupy Phoenix movement.
A dedicated Phoenix police intelligence analysts and others within Phoenix PD monitored social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, of individuals believed to be involved in Occupy Phoenix-related activities.
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As Occupy Phoenix protestors were organizing and planning events during 2011 and 2012, an undercover cops was apparently sent in to group meetings to gather details about protestors' plans.
Phoenix Police spokesman Trent Crump told Hodai, the author of the in-depth report, that it was just part of the department's efforts to maintain public safety.
"I don't even think that one has to say that we have to anticipate that there's going to be criminal activity for us to gather intelligence-- public safety is one of our job responsibilities. So, when we know they're going to have, very possibly, some civil unrest, or we know we may have large groups of people organizing to rally under a protest-- or whatever you want to call it-- we gather intelligence on this, absolutely."
Check back with New Times as there is more to come on this report.