Russell Pearce Sued by Puente's Sal Reza


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Uriel Garcia
Stephen Montoya (left) and Sal Reza at a press conference Tuesday announcing the lawsuit filed against Senate President Russell Pearce.
Pro-immigrant activist Sal Reza, leader of the Phoenix human-rights group Puente, announced Tuesday that he's suing state Senate President Russell Pearce in federal court for falsely arresting him on suspicion of trespassing and denying him access to the Senate building.

In addition to Pearce, the complaint names as defendants two Arizona Department of Public Safety officers involved in the incident, Officer J. Gentry Burton and Sergeant Jeff Trapp, who are assigned to the Capitol as a security detail.

Reza claims that his civil rights were violated and that he was targeted because he is a Mexican-American and critical of Pearce's immigration stance. The lawsuit is seeking punitive damages, and is meant to send Pearce a message, Reza said.

"I don't want Pearce to keep doing this to other people," he told reporters. "Just because you don't agree with someone else's opinion and then get him arrested-- this is the type of stuff that happens in third-world countries."

In late February, Reza was collared at the Senate building on his way to meet state Senator Steve Gallardo. Officers at the building asked him to leave because he had been "banned" from the building by Pearce. 

However, Reza questioned their authority and asked for proof that he was banned in writing. Instead, Reza says, he was shoved against the glass wall in the Senate lobby and arrested for "trespassing."

As previously reported by my colleague Stephen Lemons, Anayanse Garza, an activist who happened to be with Reza that day, was also arrested. This, for alleged aggravated assault and resisting arrest as she was attempting to film Reza's mistreatment with a cell phone camera.

Garza, a slight, soft-spoken woman, also claims she was abused in the process of being arrested. She much smaller than the DPS officers who arrested her that day. Both men are over six feet tall.

Neither Garza, nor Reza have been charged with any crime, in spite of their arrests months ago. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office would only say that it is still reviewing both cases.

Pearce claims he had asked officers a day before the arrests to restrict entrance to those "offenders" guilty of so-called "disorderly and disruptive behavior." This essentially amounted to activists applauding as they watched a Senate committee hearing on a TV set in a separate room.

Lemons has discussed the discrepancies between the police reports for the arrests and Pearce's statements in a blog post you can read, here.

Pearce didn't specifically mention Reza in his instructions to Senate security. But Stephen Montoya, Reza's lawyer, said at Tuesday's press conference that they are naming Pearce as a defendant, because he wanted the "offenders" trespassed. And one of these "offenders" happened to be Reza, a long-time, vocal critic of Pearce.

Montoya predicts the court will take 12 to 16 months to rule on the lawsuit. By that time, Pearce could be out of office if the recall campaign by Citizens for a Better Arizona proves successful. 
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43 comments
Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Haddie, you may recall that pearce, while trying to justify his actions, quoted another senator, Krysten Sinema, as being "frightened by the protestors" when in fact she said nothing of the sort and she stated that, literally just days after she had made a statement alluding that she actually 'loves' pearce in spite of himself.

Pearce simply sees himself as some sort of 'god' who can (and does) issue orders regardless of our written law. The very law that the rest of us are supposed to follow...

Bobby
Bobby

My attitude on Reza, Grijalva and the like is simple. Whether most of you want to "see" it or not, those guys are nothing more than the opposite side of the same coin Pearce in on.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

The difference, Bobby, is that they have the United States Constitution and written law on their side. Pearce is trying to change, or misapply, both the Constitution and written law to HIS application, in spite of hundreds of years of case law challenges by twits just like him.

Jason
Jason

The effort to recall Pearce was indeed successful. 8,239 votes were secured to force a recall election.

As for Reza, wonder how much taxpayer cash he wants to settle his case?

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

The voters who voted the power abusers who have destroyed lives should pick up the cost for damage. Unfortunately innocent taxpayers have to foot the bill also. 

Bobby
Bobby

Just as they do with the illegal immigration most of you support.

15ragin40
15ragin40

Keep up the pressure Reza....

Bobby
Bobby

Ignorant of U.S. immigration law reporter Uriel Garcia, already started the article wrong by the first sentence, Pro-Immigrant activist, Sal Reza,.......  So let me suggest a few possible  corrections.

 "Pro-illegal alien activist," Sal Reza, "Enabler of illegal immigration activist," Sal Reza, etc.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I see it differently, Bobby. I don't see Mr. Reza as being pro-illegal. Any more so than you and I are pro-illegal. From my conversations with Mr. Reza he really is more concerned about fair and just treatment of all people, including those who are suspected or deemed to be in the United States without documents to validate their presence.

He, and I, are only asking that our peace officers and legislators treat all detainees according to the very constitution we all support and many of us are actually protected through military service including foreign wars.

We can't condone someone like pearce making his own set of laws because of his position as senate president. We can't condone someone like the MCSO shurf making his own set of laws because of his position as an elected official.

We only ask for fair and equitable application of constitutional rights for all persons in the United States.

Bobby
Bobby

It just blows me away that so many people in Arizona thought nothing of Reza and Grijalva's willingness to ruin, totally ruin, because of their great hate, hundreds of businesses in Arizona. I can't get something so I'll attempt to destroy thousands of workers and businesses that have been in the state for a hundred years, in some cases. Some of you people are so far out in right field, that I can't even fathom your mentalities. 

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

B, The hatred was directed at them -- Reza, Grijalva among many others who are ordinary people living in fear. When there is no presumption of innocence and a rush to judgment where innocent lives are destroyed -- ALL are at risk not just the immigrants. People want to get out of Arizona! Who wants to live in a police state? With education, health care and community services decimated, while incarceration grows and millions of Federal stimulus money is pouring into Arizona.

Bobby
Bobby

Reza and Grijalva are "living in fear"? Yet, here they are instigating and fanning the fires right out in the open. Tell you what. When there was a march of a half-million illegal aliens,in Los Angeles a few years ago, who carried posters reading Kill gringo, This is our land, Go back to Europe,etc.etc. A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE IN FEAR, but Reza, Grijalva and the like had no concern at all over those folks. You see, I'm just trying to create a balanced picture on this whole topic of illegal immigration. I'm not the guy, you'll find on a lot of blogs, that babbles all kinds of obscenities towards illegal aliens or mexicans, but it hasn't mattered, I've been viley attacked anyway by all of these REASONABLE FOLKS!

Bobby
Bobby

I have never heard, honestly, from any quarter, that people want to get out of Arizona. Don't you understand WHY-education, health care, and community services are decimated. Please, you can't be as stupid as Ted above, who can't wait for it to happen across the country. Your posts are a little more intelligent than the rest of the clowns on here.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Consumers using their dollars to vote on policy issues is as old as this country's founding "Bobby".  Perhaps you should go and read about how this country fought against unfair laws by boycotting tea - for instance.

Bobby
Bobby

Sorry, this wasn't the 'consumers" idea. It was Reza's and Grijalva's. Proof, not one other state boycotted Arizona, not even far-leftist Calfornia. Not one company or individual.

Ted
Ted

Wrong, wronger and wronger!

Bobby
Bobby

I don't care about Pearce, but Reza is a traitor. He agreed with Raul, let's "economically nuke Arizona with a world wide boycott", Grijalva. Yeah, I realize Chad Snow said Pearce closed some donut shop for two days, but Grijalva, was willing to ruin for good hundreds of businesses and the familys that own them and work for them, because he didn't agree with some policy decision. Who's crazier here?

Keith
Keith

Brewer, Pearce and other conservatives have done far more to discourage visitors to Arizona than the boycott with their lies about out-of-control crime and headless bodies.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Bobby, Read this and tell the bloggers what you think, these people are more well-known across America then Reza and Grijalva.

Ties That Bind: Arizona Politicians and the Private Prison Industry -- In These Timeshttp://www.inthesetimes.c...

Bobby
Bobby

Yeah, I've heard it all before from the Times "flaming ass leftists Corporation. In California the Times lost so many readers because of their open borders anti-american lunacy, that they had to fire over four hundred people. Couldn't have happened to nicer idiots.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Print media in every form is having to downsize due to the very internet you are using to express your opinions. It has very little, if anything, to do with the text, or context, of articles contained within the publications.

Anon
Anon

Bobby, You are pointing the finger at the wrong people. Those in "control" have turned off a nation and the world of tourists are also watching. Why would an out of state or visitor from abroad want to step foot in Arizona. It's time to get real. Most people do not even know who Reza and Grijalva are but they see the faces of hatred from Arizona on the media regularly and you know who they are.

Bobby
Bobby

I got news for you Anon, Arizona is an extremely popular tourist destination for Europeans. Check it out. No one is turned off on Arizona. We have the kind of traitors in Los Angeles like Mr. Ted above, Mikefrombisbee,Rob the guy fixated on mothers, and rest who tried to make California businesses boycott Arizona. Know what happened? NOTHING! ZERO! NADA! NICHTS! NYET! Not one person or business from Caifornia boycotted Arizona. As I understand it, neither did any Arizonans, causing Raul, the mexican nationalist, Grijavla to slink off with his tail between his legs and wind up apologizing. Doesn't mean he's changed though. He and Ted and Mike, and Rob and the rest will still try to f--k a U.S. state, so badly to they hate Americans.

Ted
Ted

How so boychick? Being an obtuse blockhead you obviously can't get your brain around the fact that in just a few short years you and and I will be in the minority population of America. Turn around is a bitch eh, boychick? Anyone not supporting Pearce's fascist and unconstitutional bill SB1070 only had to announce it and work to stop him and his hate filled cronies. Then come out strongly for the boycott. Don't cry boychick Bobby, you only embarrass yourself. Just like Pearce and the  Repubs in the ledge.

Bobby
Bobby

By the way traitor Teddy, mikefrombisbee thinks of you as a white robed guy to. JUST DISAGREE WITH HIM ON SOMETHING INVOVLING HIS BELOVED HERO'S.

Bobby
Bobby

Hope you get what you want clown--right in the kisser. That's what the turn arounds gonna be for you. Being 5 feet tall you'll probably have to do some sucking, just to survive.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

He gets it Ted - he just hates the idea. It (the idea of a non-white majority) frightens him and makes him angry.This troll, who calls him/her/itself "Bobby" is an admitted nativist and a fanboy of nativist/racist Glenn Spencer. He is merely a shill for FAIR, which is an organization that has its roots sunk deep in the concept of white supremacy and the preservation of a "white" America. His apparent purpose in life is to stir the pot and keep attention focused on immigration. He will call anyone who questions acknowledged white supremacists "anti-white," and racist. His ideas are confused, pathological and twisted as are his ideological mentors. Every once in a while, his racism will slip out (referring to posters on this website as "burroheads"). Make no mistake, this troll is simply a shill for FAIR. FAIR has funded several "astroturf" organizations that purport to be made up of minorities opposed to illegal immigration. To find out more about the sick puppies behind the troll Bobby, visit the Southern Poverty Law Center's website and do a search on "FAIR" or nativists. Oh, yeah - the troll who calls himself Bobby also goes off on the SPLC - says they're "anti-white." I guess it upsets him/her/it that they put his beloved FAIR in the same hate group category as the klan, nazis christian identity and skinheads. But, if the white robe fits...

Bobby
Bobby

I use the term buuro heads like you use the term white robe,etc. You are  directing that phrase "white robe" at chinese people perhaps? Hypocrit.

Bobby
Bobby

I was wondering when Mexican nationalist wanna be Mikefrombisbee was gonna show up to support traitors  Reza and Grijalva.

Rob
Rob

"Who's crazier here?"

Really?  You, of all people, asking this question.

Bobby
Bobby

Come on Rob, your'e a Mexican nationalist at heart. How come your'e not in the picture with Reza? Busy that day?

Bobby
Bobby

Yeah, I mean those mexicans I consider assholes.

Bobby
Bobby

Hey,I was only repeating what I continually hear Mexicans saying. So many of them seem to use this form of insult.(the mother thing)

Keith
Keith

"typical Mexican asshole remark" ... yes, it's clear you're not a hateful bigot, Bobby.

Bobby
Bobby

Yeah, typical Mexican asshole remark. You guys have got to stop being so fixated on your mothers. It gives you a bad reputatuion as wimps.

Rob
Rob

Ask your Mom.

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