Joe Arpaio's Top Monitor Pick Howard Safir Once Hit a Pregnant Lady with His Escalade, Thinks Stop-and-Frisk Is Cool
Monday was a deadline set by federal Judge G. Murray Snow in the ACLU's big racial-profiling case Melendres v. Arpaio for plaintiffs and defendants to submit lists of prospective candidates for the position of court-appointed monitor over the MCSO.
This, assuming the two sides could not agree on a monitor.
No surprise, they didn't agree. And taking a look at the top pick of Arpaio and his legal lap dog Tim Casey, it's plain that they never really took the job of finding a monitor all that seriously.
Arpaio's numero uno is former NYPD police commissioner Howard Safir, who swooped into the administration of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani after Giuliani axed William Bratton as commish, basically because Bratton was getting better press than Giuliani.
Safir was NYPD commissioner from 1996 to 2000, and he's taken credit for a historic drop in crime that was engineered in large part by Bratton's foresight and innovation as a law enforcement administrator and leader.
Not only is Safir a big apologist for the NYPD's notorious stop-and-frisk policy,but in a 2010 incident that will remind you of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's vehicular hit-and-run, Safir backed into pregnant lady with his Cadillac Escalade while leaving a spot on the Upper East Side where he was double-parked.
Um, and no, he did not stop.
The New York Times reported on the incident at the time and spoke to the victim, Joanne Valarezo.
Here's an excerpt:
Ms. Valarezo said in a telephone interview on Friday night that she was on a break from her job at a doctor's office and had gone to buy socks for her unborn child when she was hit.
"I was crossing the street in between cars and he hit reverse, and his female passenger screamed, 'Are you not looking, there's someone there,' and as he was reversing, he hit me on my shoulder and my knee and the side of my stomach," she said.
Then he started to drive away, she said.
"I confronted him and I said, 'I'm pregnant. Did you not see?' And he just disregarded that and kept going," she said. She said if the passenger had not screamed, causing her to turn, she would been hurt more seriously.
Ms. Valarezo said her unborn baby, a boy, "is fine now, thank God. Everything looks good with my child."
Ms. Valarezo said she did not recognize the driver.
Told he was a former police commissioner, she said: "Are you serious? Oh, my God, I did not know that. Wow. O.K., that would explain why all these detectives came to see me. I had detectives come see me in the hospital, and nobody told me who he was."
She added: "I'm shaking now. So he has been caught?"
Told he was found but not charged, Ms. Valarezo said, "Really."
Then she laughed.
She asked for his name, and when given it, said, "You would think that a man who abides by the law should follow it."