Russell Pearce's Police State Capitol: Sal Reza's Arrest Report

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Pearce now has his own KGB in the Capitol Police, the Sergeant at Arms, and certain members of DPS.

The Arizona Capitol Police have released a partial report on the wrongful arrests of Salvador Reza and Anayense Garza on February 24 at the state Senate building. At several points it contradicts state Senate President Russell Pearce's assertions, as well as the probable cause statements submitted by the Capitol Police in the incident.

First, it's pretty clear that despite Pearce's contention that there's no "blacklist," he has, in effect, turned security provided to the Senate by the Sergeant at Arms, the Capitol Police, and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers assigned to the Senate, into his own private KGB.

Plainclothes DPS officer J. Gentry Burton, in his supplement to the report, notes that, "several subjects had been restricted from entering the Arizona State Senate building by Senate President Russell Pearce."

(You can read the entire report, here.)

DPS Sergeant Jeff Trapp, who along with Burton arrested Reza and Garza that day, goes even further. Writing of the events of February 22, during a marathon, anti-immigrant Appropriations Committee hearing, where Reza and hundreds others watched the proceedings from an overflow room, Trapp recalls the following:

"At approximately 2230hrs, Senate President Russell Pearce approached me and requested that the offenders from the overflow seating be identified, photographed, and that the information be posted at the Senate guard desks and that these offenders be denied further entrance into the Senate."

The "offenders" he speaks of, were "offenders" because they were applauding a Television screen, as they observed a hearing that was happening in an entirely different room. One to which the activists were denied.

Trapp later states that photos were not taken, but that he obtained pics via the Internet of Reza and radio show host Carlos Galindo, who had been 86'd from the Senate for different reasons. He gave these to security with a slip saying the folks in question were banned.

Though the probable cause statement for Reza asserts that Reza was informed the night of the hearing that he was persona non grata, all the actual report says is that Reza was asked  to tell people to stop clapping on the 22nd, and he refused. He was not trespassed that evening, nor was he told that he could not come back.

The first Reza heard of his "ban" was when he walked into the state Senate to meet with Senator Steve Gallardo. Told he had to leave a public building, he naturally asked to see some proof of this unconstitutional "ban" in writing. But they gave him none. When he refused to leave, he was collared. 

Burton was the officer who put Reza in cuffs. Reza says he was slammed up against the glass wall window in the Senate lobby. Burton finesses this, writing that he put Reza "in an OCCS twist lock and moved him up against the wall."

Similarly, Sergeant Trapp essentially admits that he pulled Garza's hair when he arrested her.

He states in his supplemental report, "I took Garza to the ground by pulling her hair through the doorway and Officer Burton assisted in cuffing her."

Real tough guys, manhandling a little lady like that. I've seen both Trapp and Burton. They each look to be over six feet tall. Garza looks like she's 5'1" or 5'2". She was armed only with a smart phone, with which she was filming Burton and Trapp as they took Reza into custody.

BTW, her phone has been confiscated as "evidence."

One other conflict: Pearce in his statement on the incident, said Garza, "screamed that someone had a gun, causing a panic in an adjacent room hosting another hearing." 

The police report does not say Garza screamed any such thing. Rather, someone in an adjoining room called 911 and misreported that there was someone in the building with a gun.

(Oddly, Pearce turns a blind eye to people packing heat in the state Senate, so why would people be alarmed by what Pearce allows?)

According to Garza's lawyer, Gabriel Sayavedra, Garza sustained bruises and other injuries from her treatment. Indeed, the report mentions that she asked a member of the Capitol Police for medical attention. He told her she could get it at the Fourth Avenue Jail.

Asked about the claims by Burton and Trapp that Garza fought the two DPS officers like a wildcat, Sayavedra observed that such claims are standard practice from cops when they rough someone up.

"That's a common practice of police agencies, when they hurt someone," he said. "They make up a story about how someone was attacking them, they had to protect themselves, and that's how the person being arrested got hurt."

Sayavedra also pointed out that -- ban or no ban -- Reza cannot go back to the state Senate now because of the conditions of his release on the trespassing charge. You know, returning to the scene of the "crime," and all that.

Trapp says Reza was banned under "Senate rules," but there's nothing in the Senate rules that explicitly allows the Senate President to create a "blacklist" or ban people. 

However, the rules do state that the Senate President "shall preserve and maintain order and decorum," and that the Sergeant at Arms takes his orders from the Senate President. 

And, in truth, that's probably broad enough to allow Pearce to act like Hosni Mubarak used to, before Mubarak was booted from office. But all tyrants get shown the door eventually, often as a byproduct of  their corruption and absolutism. 

Pearce is not immune to this truism. What DPS has to ask itself is, does it want to be lumped in with Pearce's excesses? Or put another way, do Burton and Trapp want their entire careers in law enforcement defined by such incidents? Ditto the Capitol Police and the Sergeant at Arms. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes. 


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43 comments
XSoldier
XSoldier

Did anyone read in today's Mesa Republic the My Turn column authored by none other than der Fuhrer Pearce?

I did, and posted it below for all to enjoy.....

Don't believe the media----I do not have a Capitol blacklistRussell Pearce, my turn, 3/12/11

"As many of our members promised in their campigns last fall, Republican leadership here in the Arizona Senate is focused on jobs, the economy, balanced budget, education reform, tort reform, safe neighborhoods, border enforcement and strict interior enforcement.The Legislature has already passed and the governor has signed a jobs bill that also promises broad tax cuts. We are committed to finalizing our state budget in the first 60 days of the session. It will be a budget that finally gets our fiscal house in order after years of irresponsible sepnding.We are holding budget meetings with Senate and House leadership, members and the Governor's Office nearly every day. In addition, we are moving through hundreds of important bills that will have a positive impact on Arizonans.Needless to say, we are busy. That is why it is so disappointing that I have to spend large parts of my day responding to the falsehoods of the media. Despite the recession, with chronic high unemployment in our state, media outlets such as The Arizona Republic seem to be focused on distractions.

Case in point: their allegations that I have put together a "blacklist" of people who are not allowed in the Senate. Anyone who knows me knows how strongly I feel that the peopl eneed to be present when we are conducting the people's business. Those who are interested in the future of our state and who want to interact with their political leaders are always welcome. Those whose goal is to cause disturbances and threaten the safety of our members, staff and public are not welcome. Capitol police and the DPS work tirelessly to provide a safe and secure environment for the public. It is an insult to these peace officers that newspaper articles attempt to lump lawbreakers and agitators with our citizens who are simply trying to follow the political process.Members of the press have taken reckless accusations of a blacklist as gospel. They have filed records requests for a blacklist that doesn't exist. They've hounded members and law enforcement to reveal a blacklist that doesn't exist.Even with all the facts on the table, reporters won't admit the truth. On Feb. 28, Arizona Republic reporter Ginger Rough wrote in a news piece (not an editorial) that I "continued to insist" there was no blacklist. That sounds more like a reporter trying to advance an agends rather than report the facts. Police arrested four people at a news conference held by Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. She told Senate security she feared for her safety. We have had thousands of protesters at the Capitol, some with hateful signs encouraging violence, vulgar language, and yes, throwing bottles and other objects.These incidents have brought renewed attention to an unusual trend here at the Capitol: rallies, protests, and disturbances disguised as a press conference held inside our building. A press conference is for the press. Newspapers, TV and radio stations show up to ask questions of lawmakers and report on what those lawmakers said. Since when is a news conference a place for beating drums and angry threats from the public?

The fact that I had to issue a memo detailing the concept of a press conference was slightly amusing. What's disturbing is that the news media felt the need to report this "news" and even question why protests shouldn't be a part of a press conference.Protesters have always been a part of our culture, but they should be peaceful. They need to be outside and no tin the building beating drums, with bullhorns, yelling and screaming. After the tragedy in Tucson on Jan. 8, commentators were almost unanimous in their judgment that this event should lead politicians to treat each other and the public with respect and civility. How sad that just a few weeks later, there are those who quickly defend the actions of these lawbreakers and question my efforts to protect the people who work so hard in this building, trying to improve the future of our great state."

chicagonut
chicagonut

"Writing of the events of February 22, during a marathon, anti-IMMIGRANT Appropriations Committee hearing, Perhaps the advocates for illegal aliens should clean up their own backyards of lies before they accuse others of it. There are no anti-IMMIGRANT committee hearings.

XSoldier
XSoldier

It continues to amaze me that one dumbass legislator continues to be an embarrassment to the city of Mesa, Maricopa County, and Arizona.

Pearce is nothing more than a neo-Nazi fascist who is Adolf Hitler reborn. Hosni Mubarak is too nice a name for this mentally unstable old fool.

Pearce is a known associate of the Flaccid Fool and most likely knows who Reza is and what he stands for due to Reza's contempt and disdain for the Old Balloon Head known as Da Shurf.

I sure as hell hope Pearce is telling me that I can't go to the state Senate building and bitch to him about his policies. Unfortunately, he happens to be my legislator.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

The lack of any results from the Justice Department's investigation of civil rights abuse of the constitution by the Joke of the County is partly to blame for this behavior. If the OBVIOUSLY unconstitutional acts of the Sheriff are going to be ignored and covered up, then Pearce and his minions feel they are also going to be similarly ignored and covered up by their "friends" in the Justice Department.

Emboldened, is that a word?

PrimaDonna
PrimaDonna

I wish people would stop making Salvador Reza out to be some kind of activist hero. All of us in his family knows the truth, that he is a disgusting drunk homosexual child-rapist. Keep your kids away from Salvador Reza! Hopefully for all children in the world he'll stay locked up forever this time!

chicagonut
chicagonut

"Writing of the events of February 22, during a marathon, anti-IMMIGRANT Appropriations Committee hearing, Perhaps the advocates for illegal aliens should clean up their own backyards of lies before they accuse others of it. There are no anti-IMMIGRANT committee hearings.

Ted
Ted

Stephen, you certainly have the cops MO down to a Tee! Those thugs rough up a smaller person, then in their reports on the incident claim that person "without provocation did attack and assault said officers" never mind the fact said officer had already knocked the purported "attacker" unconscious and was kicking and beating him with his boots and flashlight resulting in a broken leg, five broken ribs and a cut to the forehead that required 87 stitches to close. When I regained consciousness I was being pulled out of the cop car at the jail, but I couldn't walk because my right leg wouldn't support me and I fell again. I was manhandled back into the rear of the cop car and hauled to the hospital where I was handcuffed to a gurney and taken to xray. When the xray tech told one of the cops that the leg was broken he immediately disappeared. I found out later that he had gone to the pay phone and called his girlfriend who came to the hospital in her own car and began telling anyone who would listen how she had been in the police car as a "ride along" earlier in the evening and had witnessed me go crazy and attack both officers which certainly justified their use of force to subdue the perp, me. I was charged with eight felony charges and one misdemeanor. Luckily for me I contacted the personal injury lawyer who was working on a rear ending accident where I was the one rear ended immediately. He put his investigators to work and quickly found a security tape of the girlfriend arriving at the hospital and once he started deposing the various witnesses their perjury was exposed. All the felony charges were thrown out by the judge, but they kept the misdemeanor for another month before finally admitting defeat and dropping it. Be aware that cops will lie, cheat and steal, so get a lawyer right away when they start fucking with you trying to defend their indefensible actions!

Jmfarrell53
Jmfarrell53

Sal Reza thrives on this kind of stuff. Free face time and all that. Sen. Pearce is better off ignoring him. Having the guy arrested is playing the game by Sal's rules.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

In this photo of pearce his hair looks very blonde. Last week it seemed to be somewhat silver. Must be all the fluorescent lighting from inside the senate building as he labors away at budget, health care, education and senate building rules... But, unlike his mentor the Flaccid Fool of MCSO, it appears he actually washes his colored hair... what little he has left.

Tina
Tina

"What DPS has to ask itself is, does it want to be lumped in with Pearce's excesses?"

Other elected members of the State Senate and the entire State legislature should be asking themselves the same thing.

david saint
david saint

Russell Pearce is creating a Germany circa 1933 atmosphere around here, and he needs to be stopped. Id like to know if any member of the public is allowed to attend these kangaroo "hearings" on the white power laws? (until pearce proves to me, and the rest of us, that his assocations with neo nazi's, his forwarding of their emails, and his denial of the holocaust are bogus, thats what im calling them)

Joseph
Joseph

All I can say is that he is a Republican and a bad guy in my eye's. Doe's the word Republican translate to Neo- Nazi's. I did not grow up here and am very sorry to tell anyone I live here.

guest
guest

some sadsack mexican gets arrested for causing a disturbance and the tiny handful of libtards in arizona wet their pants over it for three days straight. what does one fat man call the other fat man? an activist? I'm not sure what an activist is exactly, but I think that part of the "job" description is to create a disturbance and to get arrested, that seems to be a common theme with them.

RuSSell Pearce
RuSSell Pearce

Fuck the Constitution. I'll decide which Amendments we follow. Not the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 14th, that's for sure. Written by a bunch of liberals.

Sincerely,

RuSSell Pearce

ZachHenry
ZachHenry

Good story, right up until the inevitable comparison of Pearce to a middle eastern dictator. Don't flatter him that way, and don't insult the citizens of those middle eastern countries that have truly suffered in an acute and widespread way that is not comparable to what we have in Maricopa county.

That stated, I look forward to seeing Pearce go down, along with Thomas, Aubuchon, Hendershott and Arpaio.

Stacy
Stacy

Pearce is a Dictator.

Benvenuto
Benvenuto

You have to expect this type of behavior from Neo-Nazis. Eventually, goodness and truth will prevail but at the expense of many matyrs.

FuckthePigs
FuckthePigs

Arizona pigs doing what they do best, bullying people and then lying to cover it up.

Kreator's Wolf
Kreator's Wolf

I hope Garza sues the Capital Police on Police Brutality charges and wrongful arrest. I don't see any harm in "filming" an incident. Totally NOT the U.S. that I've come to know. The rogue state of Aryan-zona is quickly becoming an island of Totalitarianism. No Dictatorship survives for long, as history has shown us. Aryan-zona's governement would probably be the first to collaspe. Due to its un-AmeriKKKan reign of terror.

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Why any living, breathing, even minutely coherent human being believes anything Russell Pearce says is a mystery to me. Arizona is over the cliff. It's all crashing to the rocks from now on.

Face it folks, for the next two years, we're fucked.

Coz
Coz

Feds are a joke.

Coz
Coz

Are you sure you're not talking about yourself ?

Bill
Bill

Tommy, you are one of the best commenters on this site. But when you start scrutinizing the color of Russell Pearce's hair and commenting on same, I can only surmise that you have too much time on your hands! : )

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Tina, your point is very valid. How many of the senators will feel the need to exclude the public from press conferences they choose to hold in hearing rooms? What happens to a member of the senate who disobeys such a rule by the senate president? Do they cut off the senators toes and then issue a stern warning that something more sensitive might be next?

guest
guest

germany circa 1933 is EXACTLY what arizona is like. you've studied your history well, and are a wise and valuable addition to the progressive liberal poster contingent here at the new times blogs.

guest
guest

you're misapplying your single quotation marks, joe.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Actually, they arrested an American citizen for trespassing in a public building. You seem to have your facts skewed. But, you only post as 'guest', so you're not held responsible for your postings... weenie.

Getaclue
Getaclue

Pastor Martin Niemoller said, "First they came for the Jews,and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists,and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Communist....Then they came for the trade unionists,and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for meand there was no one was left to speak out for me."

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Snaggletooth, good post. But here in Maricopa County we have journalists yanked from their homes in the middle of the night and jailed (Lacey and Larkin), political opponents arrested and jailed (Stapley), and dozens of citizens arrested, manhandled, and jailed merely for speaking out against the Pearce/Arpaio axis of evil.

It may be a question of degree, but the parallels of how these dictators suppress dissent are there.

Benvenuto
Benvenuto

@Kreator's Wolf, beautifully stated. I had not heard Aryanzona or AmeriKKKa yet. With your permission I will use those terms from now on. I moved here from the NW less than a year ago and must say this is not the state I visited many years ago. There's a Second American Revolution coming and I pray I live to see it's fruition. The bitch Brewer and her henchmen will be crushed. Kick out that phony McCain as well. I've never seen anyone try to get so much mileage out of being a Vietnam vet. I was there on the ground in '68-'69 and saw more crap than than fly-boy could've ever imagined.

Ellobo
Ellobo

Mexicans here for ever have said....We will just keep moving up here. Beating upwhites and run them out of their own towns, neighborhoods, and states. We willtake it all back without a war one town at a time, one neighborhood at a time, onestate at a time.

Loveless
Loveless

What do you think all the new privately run prisons are for? All the new legislation is meant to round up thousands of people.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Actually, guest, they are apostrophes, not single quotation marks as you suggest.

Coz
Coz

Tommy, you shouldn't confuse the mental midgets with facts, it upsets them.

guest
guest

do you think that they'll ever understand the concept of order and decorum?yeah, me neither.

ZachHenry
ZachHenry

Fair enough, and I'll agree that Russell Pearce certainly is a dictator of sorts. But as you said, it is a question of degree, and I find it vain to put the problems of Maricopa County on a level with the problems of people who are still struggling against serious violence. As much as I would like to see Pearce out, the toppling of Mubarak or Guddafi is a much more important and momentous an event for humanity at large, and should be treated with due respect.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Like you, I was on the ground in Viet Nam, but I never did go to prison camp, as did Senator McCain. I don't see him getting mileage out of such a horrid experience that he can't raise his arms horizontal to his shoulders, as can I. If you don't like him, that's fine, but don't disparage his service any more than you would want someone else to disparage yours.

guest
guest

I don't know if they're apostrophes or single quotes, but either way, they're out of place.

Ted
Ted

Take a hike you racist pig. Mexican people have more respect for order and decorum in their little fingers than you racist retards have in your whole body. What truly disgusting examples of humanity you are!

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

I worked on the Hill in the late 80's. The running joke, amongst both parties, was that you could tell how much trouble John McCain was in by how slowly and awkwardly he walked up to the press podium.

I salute his service and respect what he endured, but let's not forget that he lost three aircraft along the way to that prison - and caused an international incident by flying through a power line in Europe - things that would have caused any other flyboy to get grounded.

He wanted to fly when he was less than qualified, the risk he took was realized, as is often the case. Still, he had the courage to take that risk ...

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