Friday, August 28, 2009

Radio KASA's Carlos Galindo's Thursday Run-In with MCSO Deputies

Radio personality Carlos Galindo gets the MCSO treatment Thursday

Above is a video sent to me by activists out monitoring MCSO activity in Maryvale yesterday. According to the activists and others I spoke with, there were about 50 or so MCSO deputies gathered at the John F. Long Community Center at 3454 N. 51st Ave. This was about mid-day on Thursday, August 28.

Initially, both activists and media believed it to be the beginning of an MCSO anti-immigration sweep. It wasn't. One journalist at another outlet I spoke with said that the MCSO told him it was narcotics-related, and that MCSO deputies ordered reporters not to follow them. Many of the activists said they received the same warning from MCSO deputies, and that they were threatened with arrest if they followed the MCSO when they left the area.

In addition to KASA AM radio personality Carlos Galindo, shown here, others there watching the MCSO were harassed and told not to videotape MCSO activity because there were supposedly "undercover narcotics officers" present. Thing is, if you're in public videotaping cop activity, and you're not "interfering" with their investigation, you're within the bounds of the law. Hell, Phoenix Copwatch does this sort of thing on regular basis.

Of course, that doesn't mean the cops won't threaten to arrest you, act thuggishly, or even arrest you under false pretenses. It happens all the time, especially when you're dealing with rogue organizations like the MCSO.

It doesn't look like Galindo was doing anything wrong. The MCSO just didn't want him there videotaping them. Fortunately, he wasn't arrested, though he looks like he was seconds away from it. The cocky white-haired leprechaun with sunglasses on is Dave Letourneau, Captain of MCSO's SWAT Team, known for intimidating protesters at events like this. The white, bald deputy who apparently opened Galindo's door is Sgt. Poe, one of Letourneau's underlings.

You may remember this pair from the infamous "cone incident" back in April during the MCSO's Avondale anti-immigration sweep. Check this link for an explanation and a video of their outrageous conduct back then. In any case, the bulls had Galindo surrounded, and were simultaneously ordering him to leave and preventing him from leaving by opening his car door. Galindo's lucky he didn't get collared by these cowboys.

The irony is that the MCSO might have been involved in legitimate police activity for a change. Hard to tell. But the MCSO has so poisoned the well with the community through Sheriff Joe Arpaio's anti-brown dragnets that now activists dog deputies' every step, and rightly so. If Arpaio were not at war with Maricopa County's Hispanic community, probably no one would have paid any attention to a gaggle of MCSO deputies like this, collected at a community center parking lot in the middle of the day.

There's more video to come on yesterday's MCSO operation from other sources. I'll put it up as I get it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Joe Arpaio's 168 287(g) Officers: Names, Ranks, Serial Numbers, Etc.

Sharing is caring. That's why I'm posting a link to a list of the names, ranks, serial numbers, hire dates, and pay rates for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 287(g)-trained deputies. (You can view the list, here.) These are the deputies trained by the feds to enforce federal immigration law, and according to this roster released by the sheriff's office in response to a public records request, there are 168 of the Hispanic-hunting gendarmes in Arpaio's ranks.

Notable names include Sgt. Brett "Shut Up" Palmer, known for making hostile remarks toward elected county and city officials during an MCSO press conference earlier this year; Deputy Loren Gaytan, the MCSO's liaison to the town of Guadalupe and a participant in the MCSO's notorious Honduras project, training law enforcement down there; and Officer Anthony Reese, who may have been present when immigrant Maria del Carmen Garcia Martinez's arm was broken in MCSO custody.

Oddly, neither SWAT Team Captain David Letourneau, nor Lieutenant Joe Sousa are listed as being 287(g)-trained, though both are usually part of MCSO's anti-immigrant sweeps and raids.

I had asked ICE for this list through a FOIA request. But despite the vaunted "transparency" of the Obama administration, the feds responded to my request with a document wherein the actual names of the deputies involved were redacted. The MCSO to its credit simply coughed up the list shortly after I asked for it.

Recently, certain human rights activists in town have informed me that they've been trying to obtain this list to no avail, so now everyone will have it at their disposal. After all, whether they like it or not, these deputies are public servants. We pay their salaries, and have a right to know who they are.