New York Times Blogs Video of Kids Traumatized by MCSO; and I'm Blocked from Latest Arpaio Presser
"Frankie the Snitch" groveling before the Board of Supervisors in September.
I had a funny feeling the MCSO might block yours truly if I headed down to the love-in between Guadalupe Mayor Frankie Montiel and Joe Arpaio today at the Wells Fargo Building, where Joe has his high-rent offices. But, hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Anyway, MCSO flack Brian Lee, who said he's the replacement for former flack and notorious sourpuss Paul Chagolla, informed me that there was a "standing order" against the admission of New Times reporters to MCSO press conferences. When I asked why I was allowed into the press conference for last week's sweep in the west Valley, Lee said that was different because it was out in the open, but that this presser was on their floor, in their building.
Thing is, last time I checked, the taxpayers pay for Arpaio's two floors in the Wells Fargo Tower, and they pay a pretty penny: $675K per annum. So how does Arpaio justify keeping out the press he doesn't like from press conferences in offices paid for by taxpayers?
Plus, isn't Joe supposed to be the roughest, toughest hombre this side of the Pecos? Why is he afraid of a few tough questions? He seemed to be able to weather mine last week at his presser for his first anti-brown dragnet of the year?
Sal Reza's video of the crying children of Ciria Lopez-Pacheco, arrested by the MCSO on Friday during Sheriff Joe's latest anti-immigrant sweep.
But that's okay, I'm tired of looking at Arpaio's desiccated mug anyhow. Out on the street, I ran into Phoenix civil rights activist Sal Reza, who informed me that the heartrending video he captured of the two children torn from their mother in last week's raid had been posted by the New York Times, and indeed it has, in an editorial blog post titled, "Traumatizing Children, to Keep Us `Safe.'" Thanks again to the New York Times for paying attention to our benighted patch of sand out here. I'm glad someone in the civilized world gives a damn.
A Guadalupe primer: Dennis Gilman's brilliant mini-documentary Guadalupe vs. Arpaio.
In case you're interested in seeing the depth of Mayor Montiel's betrayal of his little town, I've included copies of e-mails detailing Montiel's interest in the MCSO doing a sweep of Guadalupe in November. There's also memo from Montiel to all town council members where he complains about the day workers in town. If you have trouble reading that second graph, this is what it says:
The number of day workers in Guadalupe has increased significantly in the past few months. This morning Deputy Gaytan and I have counted over 100 men within Town city limits loitering [sic] our main streets and business areas. I have no clue of [sic] these men who are [sic] documented or undocumented but [sic] is a public safety issue for young women walking to and from their bus stops who are whistled and hollered at! Another issue is people who may be deterred from shopping at our local businesses because of the amount of loiterers which will bring down our sales tax revenue!
Ironically, it was Arpaio's sweep last April that killed business in Guadalupe. Some businesses have told me they have never recovered, and they fear another Arpaio raid (if one comes) will drive them under. As for the "loitering" comments, hanging out is not a crime unless you're trespassing or otherwise violating the law. You can't arrest people for just standing around, especially if a business allows people to do so on its property.
Above I've also included Sal Reza's video of those two little crying kids from last week. This is what some children in Guadalupe may have in store for them because of Montiel's deal with the devil. Also, as a primer for the uninitiated, I've included a Dennis Gilman video on Guadalupe's recent history, so you can understand why this is all so important.