Phoenix Police Roughed Up a Black Man Who Nearly Died, Witnesses Claim

phoenix-cop-car.jpg
Shane Yellowhorse via Flickr


Witnesses claim a black church groundskeeper in South Phoenix was roughed up by Phoenix police officers, who just left him there.

The man, Frank Morrison, suffered a stroke during his run-in with police, and has been hospitalized since early Monday morning.

It's unclear exactly why police were at the Word Center church and the surrounding church-owned properties -- where the church helps house people -- around Third Street and Southern Avenue, around 4 a.m. on Monday.

Phoenix police have not been very eager to explain the situation, e-mailing New Times a statement (which can be read below) instead of answering questions.

People who were there say police told them they were looking for a burglary suspect, as Morrison was handcuffed, taken to the ground, and tossed against a police car, according to witnesses -- before being released with no ticket or any citation, and dumped on the side of the road in front of the church, as officers took off.

Morrison wasn't able to relay all the details of the incident this morning, as hospital staff at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center cut off interviews with Morrison due to his rising blood pressure.

frank-morrison.jpg
Frank Morrison, in the hospital.
However, Pastor Jeffrey Burns, as well as a man who lives at the center, Jerome Holland, corroborated the story.

Holland tells New Times that he woke up to police flashlights in his face, as officers had come into his home on the property -- where he lives with his two small children -- without serving any warrant that he's aware of, and pulled him out of his room.

Holland says police were quick to leave him, but says he saw Morrison out of his window, as police were aggressively moving him around a patrol car.

Pastor Burns tells New Times that he also saw Morrison outside, getting "slammed" into the side of the police car.

Interestingly, Burns says this is not the first time something like this has happened, as maybe about a week ago, police from the Phoenix Police Department's South Mountain precinct also came around the property without a warrant.

Burns says officers from that precinct have referred to his property as a "compound of criminals," referring to the types of people he helps house.

"Everybody needs a place to stay," Burns says.

Yet another witness corroborated the story of Morrison being roughed up and left by the side of the road, and Phoenix attorney Ben Taylor confirms he's collected several signed witness statements about the incident.

Local black activists Jeffrey Metcalfe and Jarrett Maupin both believe the incident is race-related, as Maupin pointed out that stories like this don't tend to come out of Phoenix's predominantly white neighborhoods.

"If [police] can't do it at 24th Street and Camelback (near the Biltmore Estates), you can't do it at Third Street and Southern," Maupin says.

Again, we'd like to offer the cops' side of the story, but there doesn't appear to be one at this point. Below, read the response to the allegations e-mailed to us by Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos:
"It has always been the policy of the Phoenix Police Department to welcome the community to report any allegations of officer misconduct; we take all complaints seriously. Although allegations have been made to the media, none of these were brought to the attention of the Phoenix Police Department. Nonetheless, based on information received late yesterday the department is looking into this incident. Attempts have been made to speak with Mr. Morrison however he has declined to speak with us. We have learned our officers came into brief contact with Mr. Morrison in the early morning hours of Monday August 26th during an unrelated incident. We will continue to review the facts as information is received and we encourage open and honest communications with the community we protect and serve."
Morrison's associates tell us that police went to interview him at the hospital this morning, before our arrival.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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66 comments
thehungus1
thehungus1

"Holland tells New Times that he woke up to police flashlights in his face, as officers had come into his home on the property -- where he lives with his two small children -- without serving any warrant that he's aware of, and pulled him out of his room."

If this is the case, he would've been well within his rights to shoot the intruders, though he would most likely have been murdered if he'd tried to defend himself.  Armed home invasion is a serous crime, even if you're some sort of city employee like the criminals in this case.

jedidiah
jedidiah

why are our negroes always getting into trouble?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Rodney King anyone?

I wonder how much taxpayers cash this will cost? Between the officers paid administration leave and the settlement the victim will very likely receive I'd say in the range of 500,000 to 1,000,000.

sekon2none
sekon2none

Matthew Hendley, roughed up suggests that one has suffered a couple of light scrapes and maybe lost a few buttons off a shirt at worst.  nearly losing one's life from a BEATING should not be summed up as roughed up.

robert_graham
robert_graham

I bet it won't be long before Sharpton and Jackson come here to call for riots in the street and civil unrest over this.  But before they do they should go to Florida to console the 13-year-old white victim and his grandfather and call for protests over the disgusting sentence of probation.  

Oh I forgot, they don't care. Pathetic!

After the Zimmerman verdict there were riots and civil unrest throughout the county; now it's our turn to do the same over the bus beating verdict.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/332817/250/Bus-beating-victims-grandfather-reacts-to-sentence

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

There are two sides to every story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth.

Maupin is rarely on the side of truth and more often on the side of race baiting and sensationalism.

Victor D'Vita
Victor D'Vita

so when is someone going to do a correlative story on how much all these suits cost the taxpayer each year and maybe we need to look into who is training these cops

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Wasn't Phoenix PD complaining just the other day about police officer body cameras and that if they have to wear them, it will get in the officers way?

I think this proves their point, police officer cameras would have gotten in the way of them beating this man (assuming that is what happened) or at least would have hopefully led to some accountability.

Yes, for those that cannot tell, I am being sarcastic.

Let's end all of this right now, from both sides. No more he said/she said at all.

EVERY LEO in America should have a camera and mic on them whenever on duty, period. Turn it off and it's mandatory suspension. The tech is easy and readily available and in LEO's own words, if they are doing nothing wrong, they have nothing to hide.

Body Cam/Mic every cop now.

duelly2003
duelly2003

Everything is racist according to the New Times.  And they claim Fox News is bias...

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@sekon2none  

He didn't nearly die from any beating.  He nearly died from uncontrolled high blood pressure, aggravated by being roughed up.

FuckJoeArpaio
FuckJoeArpaio

@robert_graham 

Quick!!! Everybody!!! Look over here!!! Forget what's going on in your back yard, focus on this spectacle over here...in Florida...

When there are obvious problems with police here (no, I'm not talking about Fresno, CA, where you live and work as a filling station clerk), you try to steer the topic elsewhere. 

Yup, Typical JoeArpaioFan... "Looky over here, everybody!" That doesn't change the facts surrounding this case, where police appear to have abused their authority, yet again.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham who says we arent? shouldnt we be a little more concerned with what happens in our neck of the woods more? since both of them were innocent people shouldnt we be concerned for both of them? and since it was the people who are supposed to uphold law and order instead of just random thugs, shouldnt we be more upset? a badge doesnt make you judge, jury and executioner anymore tham being a random thug does...................actually it means you should be held to a higher standard

sekon2none
sekon2none

@robert_graham apparently you and inbred idiots like only know to say the same old nonsense that Sharpton and Jackson will blah blah blah.  same old tire lines.  the fact is that neither of those have called for riots or other violence but don't let that stop you from spreading your lies and hatred

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@JoeArpaioFan. Fckng bitch, U R criticizing individuals, according 2 U, 4 calling 4 riots & civil unrests &   then U R inciting 2 do D same thing. Hypocrite much, cunt?

OATHKEEPER1958
OATHKEEPER1958

@robert_graham THEY DON'T GIVE A RATS ASS WHAT NEGROS DO, ALL THEY WANT TO DO IS GET ON GODDAM T.V.  BUNCH OF OBAMABOTS.

FuckJoeArpaio
FuckJoeArpaio

@robert_graham   Again with the "Quick, everybody!!!! Look over here!!! Ignore the issue with police abusing their power in your own backyard"

JoeArpaioFan, is that the best you got?  Repeating the same deflecting the topic tactic and over and over? 

sekon2none
sekon2none

@robert_graham in case you don't know. it's a cops job to enforce the law and quell violence not stoke the flames of racial hatred. I hope you're not a cop because its clear just the vile POS you'd make

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

YPS, wasn't Maupin behind the fictitious investigation into Mayor Phil Gordon when Gordon told the DOJ about Arpaio's abuses of power?

mywhatbigteethuhave
mywhatbigteethuhave

@Flyer9753 Chompers! have you found a bulk dental floss wholesaler yet? You can probably get a few thousand yards of military surplus floss on ebay if you don't qualify for wholesale purchases.

teknik
teknik

@Flyer9753 i mean they are snapping pictures of our license plates every chance they get, why would they be against it?

aznative818
aznative818

Now THATS FUNNY!, Faux is nothing more then a mouthpiece for the republicans and teabaggers. Its really sad to see all the white, 85 yr old men watching faux, in Green Valley or Sun City. Then you have the poor folk in the nursing homes who can't get up to change the channel, and are force fed fauxs crap. Of course then we have people like you, who swallow every word, like a whore earning her/his money, and for what? It just makes you dumber then you already are, seriously, faux snooze makes you stoopid. You are living proof.

robert_graham
robert_graham

@duelly2003 True -- very true.  I wonder if the New Times agrees that the black thugs who beat a white kid on a Florida school bus beating are racist?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@duelly2003 

New Times did not say anything about race, someone they interviewed did.

New to reading comprehension are you??

robert_graham
robert_graham

@IdontRecall WFT did you people do after the Zimmerman verdict? WELL???????????????????????????????????????????

Dontbelieveit
Dontbelieveit

@HILLFOLKREDNECK............One day it's CHING CHONG CHINAMAN now it's NEGROES ...Your everything I hate bigotry....racism , and just being OUTRIGHT FUCKING STOOOPID. You take the cake as they say. ............OH Jaffy says could you bring one of your CUTEST goats for him tonight? Says he's getting lonely since peg leg left. So did you learn how to hate and be a racist ......as part of growing up? or did your pappy teach you ?

jataga5000
jataga5000

@HILLFOLKREDNECK @robert_graham What an ignorant rant. got any proof to back up your claim or did you just pull it out of your ass. All anyone has to do is read some of the comments here to see that racism and bigotry are alive and well. Instead of wanting to get to the truth because it is our community and the police is supposed to serve everyone, people such as you want to sympathize, deny, and justify such garbage. I'm betting that after gathering all the facts the Phoenix PD will quietly settle out of court with our tax dollars just as they always do. Even more disturbing is the fact that racists are the last ones to recognize that they are racists which is pure ignorance. A lot of commenters here are exhibit A. 

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@HILLFOLKREDNECK, SHUT THE FUCK UP HILLBILLY, WHO GIVES A RAT ASS WHAT U THINK, ALL U CARE IS ABOUT UR CRACK PIPE INDUCED RANTS THAT U POST TO AID AND ABET A POSSIBLE FELON, WHO SUPPOSEDLY IS THE TOUGHEST SHURF, WHEN IN REALITY HE IS D LAUGHING STOCK OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY IF NOT D WHOLE WORLD AND THAT ALL HE WANTS IS TO SMEAR  THE CAMERA'S LENSES WITH HIS GREASY BULBOUS NOSE., THUS THE TERM: MEDIA WHORE. U R A BUNCH OF NICKLE BAGGERS.

FuckJoeArpaio
FuckJoeArpaio

@robert_graham

All hail the great Robert Graham!!! 

The great, the all-knowing Robert Graham, aka JoeArpaioFan, issues yet another pronouncement of the TRUTH -- from the Shell gas station in Fresno California where he works as a clerk. 

Yes, when the one and only Robert Graham, mild mannered Shell filling station clerk and toilet cleaner by day, Internet Troll by nigh, has no way to defend police abuse of power in Phoenix, he deflects the topic to Sharpton, Jackson, Zimmerman and assaults in Florida... over and over again.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham you have never said the truth, only your own delusional ramblings. the truth will never be able to work its way through your paranoid delusional mind. you need meds twit

FuckJoeArpaio
FuckJoeArpaio

@robert_graham @Flyer9753  There you are distorting the facts again -- Flyer said no such thing. How about we get a professional Law Enforcement Officer to run things at MCSO instead of a corrupt old media whore?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@teknik

Photo of your license plate

Constant filming of every moment while you're at work.

Yep.  I don't see any difference.

duelly2003
duelly2003

@aznative818 Ummm...   I'm living proof of "stoopidity" for taking all sides of a story into account, when you can't even spell the word, "stupid?" You made a wide range of assumptions about me simply because I pointed out the hypocrisy and extreme bias of the Phoenix New Times. I do watch Fox, but I also watch CNN and read a wide variety of articles online(including Phoenix New Times) and none of them are as disgustingly bias, corrupt in their "news" reporting or lacking in journalistic integrity as much as the Phoenix New Times.   ....But you're probably right, you seem like a very well-educated person.  Knowledge is power.  First, get the knowledge, then we can have a meaningful conversation.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@JoeArpaioFan, It all depends under what circumstances an incident occurs, FUCKING BITCH. I've noticed that U've beeen posting as much as U can bitch, 'cause U know once the RACIST POS & MCSO R under control of the Monitor UR Internet account is gonna B terminated, since probably it has been paid with County Resources. I hope that D Monitor suggests that an Audit should B performed, 2 find out how much money might've been "misspent". TIC TOC TIC TOC..3 MORE DAYS OL' BITCH.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @duelly2003  

The decision to spend that amount of ink on the racism charge without questioning it indicates agreement.    That sort of analysis is an important part of reading comprehension.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham what in the name of god are you talking about twit? i dont concern myself with any of the trayvon martin case, i worry about what happens here theres nothing i can or could do about the trayvon case and besides that when have you ever heard me take either side in that case?

FuckJoeArpaio
FuckJoeArpaio

@robert_graham  Again with the "Look over here!!!"  attempt to change the topic.  When you got nothing to say about the article, no way to come to the defense of the police, you change the topic.

jataga5000
jataga5000

@robert_graham @jataga5000 @HILLFOLKREDNECK Since I never commented on Zimmerman/Martin I'm not sure if your reply was intended for me but I will play along. Do you have any un-refutable proof that it wasn't? Having read many of your comments here, without doubt you are who I was talking about in my comment. The only thing worst than a racist is a cowardly one and you fit that bill. NT should revamp their requirements for being a top commenter to include discussions of substance. You say nothing that spurs a thought provoking debate, just the same old race baiting anger and hate. Your comments say all anyone needs to know about you. Question; why does the KKK conceal their identity? Answer; they are cowards just like you. Pretty pathetic.  

aznative818
aznative818

Why do you keep bringing up Martin and Zimmerman? Can you say, "stay on topic"?, I thought you couldn't. You, like all the other Arpio lovers and teabaggin idjits are on the losing end of this and many other conversations, you and your hateful teabaggin friends are on your way out, way, way out. I myself can't wait to see the last nail hammered home.

FuckJoeArpaio
FuckJoeArpaio

@robert_graham 

Yet Again?  What is that ten posts attempting to deflect the topic away from police abusing their authority in our backyard ?? 

 You are beyond Useless.

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