Joe Arpaio Sued By Sal Reza, and JJ Hensley's Love Affair with the MCSO

picresized_rezamont.jpg
Sal Reza and lawyer Stephen Montoya, takin' Sheriff Joe to court

Phoenix civil rights activist Salvador Reza filed suit two days ago in federal court against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and several high-ranking Arpaio henchmen over Reza's false arrest on July 30 by a pack of MCSO thugs.

Reza and his lawyer Stephen Montoya held a press conference in Montoya's offices today to announce the claim for damages regarding, "the violation of Salvador Reza's rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of movement, and due process under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States."

Reza's seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages for his wrongful arrest and imprisonment by the organization he's criticized so fiercely over the years.

The leader of the pro-immigrant group Puente had been arrested July 29 for an act of civil disobedience at the Fourth Avenue Jail protesting SB 1070, along with numerous other demonstrators.

The MCSO asserted that by showing up across the street from its headquarters for an anti-immigrant sweep on July 30, Reza had violated the terms of his release and was subject to re-arrest.

This was, and is, a bald faced lie. During Reza's initial appearance for the second arrest, both the judge and the prosecutor agreed that the MCSO had not demonstrated probable cause for the collar.

Later, County Attorney Rick Romley publicly declined to pursue the charge, agreeing that after watching the video of the arrest that there was no probable cause.

You can see the that video, here. Read my Bird column on this egregious example of the MCSO's police state tactics, here. And read Reza's complaint against Arpaio, here.

Considering the fact that the Arizona Republic almost completely ignored this outrageous violation of Reza's civil rights, Republic reporter JJ Hensley's buried, B6 take on the lawsuit in today's paper is annoying to say the least. Annoying, but not without precedent.

Hensley's ditty masquerades as a news item, but it could have been written by top MCSO flack Lisa Allen herself.

In it, Hensley never mentions that the judge and the prosecutor at Reza's initial appearance agreed that the MCSO did not establish probable cause. Not does he report that Romley echoed their statements when he announced that he would not pursue the charge.

The Hensley piece opens with the smarmiest of leads:

"Sal Reza wanted to get arrested during July protests surrounding the implementation of Arizona's controversial immigration law - he just didn't want to get arrested twice."

Cute, eh? So, according to Hensley, Reza's false arrest is no big deal. And the fact that Reza was plucked off the street like something straight out of a third-world dictatorship? A mere trifle. Never mind that the New York Times thought the arrest heinous enough to describe it at the time as "a scene from another decade or country."

Aside from Hensley's pro-MCSO slant, the story also flubs some facts.

At one point, Hensley claims that, "The report from a deputy also indicates that Reza told a local TV reporter that he wanted to get arrested that day."

But the MCSO's report, which you can read, here, doesn't state that. MCSO flack Brian Lee claims in his supplemental statement that Fox 10 reporter Miriam Garcia approached him that day, telling Lee that Reza had told her to stick around because a protest was about to occur. Lee does not claim Garcia told him that Reza wanted to get arrested.

I called Hensley about the error. To his credit, he acknowledged it and said he would run a correction. He didn't have an answer for why he omitted the statements of the prosecutor, the judge, and Romley regarding the lack of probable cause. When I commented on the smarminess of his lead, he replied, "It's accurate, isn't it."

Hensley has long been the MCSO's favorite journo. If you want to know why, just read his recent puffery, "Maricopa County Sheriff's Office aims to reclaim its image," and you'll get a feel for where Hensley's loyalties lie.

Which is fine. I don't pretend to be impartial, though the Republic certainly does.

Regarding the Garcia issue, Garcia wasn't willing to comment on her mention in the MCSO report when I called her back in September. Lee was using Garcia's alleged statements to prop up a bogus probable cause claim against Reza.

I asked Montoya about this at the presser. He told me he's skeptical of Lee's tale.

"I don't believe she told them that," he explained. "A protest wan't about to occur. In fact a protest was already occurring across the street...Reza had a right to stand across the street and observe the protest...And in fact, he had a greater right than that, he had a right to walk across the street and join the protest. He chose not to."

See, Reza did not initiate contact with the MCSO. The MCSO initiated contact with him.

Here's hoping Reza gets his pound of flesh for this outrageousness and is never harassed by the MCSO again. It's just too bad the ultimate settlement or award won't come out of Arpaio's pocket. Rather, it comes out of ours, the taxpayers of Maricopa County.


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16 comments
rgs
rgs

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ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Could we get an update of this lawsuit?

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Mr. Lemons wrote:

"Considering the fact that the Arizona Republic almost completely ignored this outrageous violation of Reza's civil rights, Republic reporter JJ Hensley's buried, B6 take on the lawsuit in today's paper is annoying to say the least. Annoying, but not without precedent. Hensley's ditty masquerades as a news item, but it could have been written by top MCSO flack Lisa Allen herself."

Indeed. A week earlier Hensley penned a PR piece assisting the MCSO to "rebuild public trust" which featured on the front page of the Valley & State section:

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office aims to reclaim its image Top leaders frustrated but working on transparency

http://www.azcentral.com/arizo...

Here a real gem:

* It is a source of frustration for the Sheriff's Office's top leaders, who say their agency lately has tried to turn over a new leaf by being transparent in its handling of internal problems, cooperating with other agencies and working to reclaim its public image. "You can't win the public's trust back by hiding the investigation," interim Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan said.

Fortunately, Sheridan is available to point the public to the REAL malefactors:

* "What makes it very difficult for us to try to do the right thing is, we have these other politicians screaming that we're doing the wrong thing, trying to make hay over an unfortunate situation to begin with and not letting a normal course of an investigation take place."

(This in reference to farming out the Munnell memo to Bandwagon Babeu.)

Well, thanks for that clarification. Let's all stop pointing fingers at the MCSO and start pointing them at those "other politicians" (everyone except Russell Pearce and John Kavanagh, apparently). After all, we wouldn't want the MCSO command structure to be frustrated that their good-faith efforts at transparency have gone awry thanks to a few screaming politicians.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Joe is having another bad week, isn't he. Let's see, the DOJ publicly stated the "Court Tower Conspiracy" case was a box of shit, Romley is giving it to Joe in the backside one more time with the appointment of 6 US Attorneys to the County office to keep Bill Montgomery on the up and up, and out of Joe's back pocket, and now Sal is crying foul in a legal way.

Poor Joe. Hope the Missus is going to make you some beanie weenies today. Maybe that will make you feel better.

Anon
Anon

Sal Reza has a good lawsuit - too bad he's got Steve Montoya representing him.

XSoldier
XSoldier

So far, to date, the Flaccid Fool has cost county taxpayers an astounding $250M, not including this.

I wonder how much Reza wants? Somewhere around $5M, no doubt?

TommyC would point out that the MCSO shurf is mentally ill. I will point out that TommyC is correct, as usual.

Also, whether you mail in a ballot or go to the polls on Tuesday, do all Maricopa County citizens a favor and vote to retain Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe, the greatest victim of the MCSO shurf and Candy, and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch. They've been instrumental in the demise of the Flaccid Fool & Co.

LemonsSmokesWeed
LemonsSmokesWeed

Reza looks like Stephen Lemons without glasses. Hmmmmm, I wonder sometimes.

Al Blue
Al Blue

I used to hate Arpaio but after reading this loser aptly named Lemmons I'm starting to like old Joe. The fact is that we DO have a very serious problem with 13-15 million illegal aliens here in the USA and Arizona is a major port of entry for them. The depression has dampened this tide and that is the one good thing that has come out of it. The Bush-Obama New Deal policies are guaranteeing that this will be a long one a la the 30s.Lemmons first got everything wrong on David Irving. Irving has done first rate historical but he is not an expert on the so-called "holocaust" and is no revisionist here. He just has a weird view that millions were killed without Hitler knowing about it and his view is less tenable than the standard shoah nonsense or the revisionist challenges by Faurisson, Mattogno, Rudolph, Rassinier, Graf, Butz, Sanning and others. All the real revisionists dismiss Irving on this subject. By the way, "racism" is a contrived term that dates only to the 30s and was invented by one of the Frankfurt School Marxian hacks. There are serious differences between the races as well as the sexes. Democratic windbags like our Lemmons boy have simply run out of gas.

ScaredOfJoe
ScaredOfJoe

Y'know, it's funny how Hensley's articles on the Repug's website have plenty of comments suggesting his articles are AGAINST arpaio. The pro-joe crowd is amazing to me. Such mindless morons.

Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza
Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza

An Associate sent Mr. Reza a message if he's monitoring the blog,

"Jimmy, post this in that article about Reza suing Joe Arpaio, because we want to let the scumbag know that our lawsuit aganst him will be pursued. We also want Reza to call 1-203-434-9329 to amicably discuss these matters. Let's see if he's man enough."

We checked out the number posted, 1-203-434-9329, and it appears to be a working exchange in the greater NYC area. Tommy C always thought that The Associates had people from the East Coast assisting in Phoenix. Pretty smart (ex) cop, that Tommy C.

Check out www.badphoenixcops.blogspot.co... for the latest on Phoenix police and government corruption. That's www.badphoenixcops.com - where the Truth hurts.

JTR, solo on the blog tonight, for The Associates.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

it's too bad the New Times can't get a statement from the Arizona Counties Insurance Pool - Arpaio and the MCSD is bleeding it dry. Off the record they will tell you he is a loose cannon who is pretty much guaranteed to cost taxpayers money each time he opens his mouth or does something else to make the news. Your tax dollars at work...

Truth08
Truth08

Reza, will hopefully get a hefty compensation package for his false arrest, by Arpaio's goon squad!!

Regards,Truth

ILikeWeed2
ILikeWeed2

You must be smokin the good stuff. I mean, "Stephen Lemons without glasses"? Reza's wearing glasses in the pic

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

We have a serious problem, Al, and for some reason you think a county sheriff, one of fifteen in Arizona, is the panacea?

Ward89
Ward89

wow. i guess you can see what kind of fascist assholes back Joe. this douche is defending holocaust denier david irving? creepy. next he'll be telling us david duke's a class act

Anon
Anon

Wake up Arizona taxpayers!

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