Rick Romley Says Police Union's Under Investigation in the Chrisman Murder Case

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Mehrens later added, "I know your paper supports Romley, having done a huge piece on how wonderful a guy he is. I know your paper supports and has done 'puff pieces' on the Phoenix PD homicide detectives and homicide detectives [who] have left for other employment, so why am I surprised? I shouldn't be."

So, uh, does this make New Times anti-cop or pro-cop? Confusing, eh?

Speaking for myself, I'm neither pro- nor anti-Phoenix PD. And as to Chrisman's guilt or innocence, that's for a jury to decide.

The line that's out there on the pro-Chrisman side is that Virgillo froze (or didn't engage) while Rodriguez and Chrisman struggled, that Rodriguez went for Chrisman's gun, and Chrisman had to kill him.

There were only three men involved in the incident, and one of them's dead.

The second, Virgillo, is a cop with a spotless record who's now loathed by many — if not most — of his brothers and sisters in arms for ratting out a fellow centurion.

The third, Chrisman, is tainted by his name's inclusion on the "Brady list" and the reason it was put there: planting a crack pipe on a mentally ill homeless woman in a sick prank we learned about only after he was indicted for murder two.

Chrisman's past behavior aside, I'd be willing to keep an open mind on whether the shooting was justified. That is, if Mehrens and PLEA weren't so actively sliming anyone who opposes or even questions them, and setting the stage for Montgomery to step in and put the kibosh on a possible trial.

That endgame may be good for Chrisman, Mehrens, and PLEA — which is using the affair to target its bête noire, Jack Harris. But would it be good for justice? No. Sorry, but now more than ever, we need a trial to sort out the death of Danny Rodriguez.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons