Key Evidence Missing in Probe of Camelback Mountain Fall That Killed Firefighter and Teen

Categories: News

orange-sling-1x.jpg
Phoenix Police Department
An orange piece of webbing similar to the one shown here was used by Gary Johnstone as an anchor point. The anchor failed for unknown reasons, resulting in the deaths of Johnstone and 15-year-old Trevor Crouse, and the piece of orange webbing used by them disappeared while in the custody of the fire department.
A key piece of evidence is missing in the investigation into how a Phoenix firefighter and his son's teenage friend fell to their deaths in August at Camelback Mountain.

Gary Johnstone, a technical rescue team member and veteran firefighter for 15 years with the department, was pronounced dead at the scene on August 8; Trevor Crouse, 15, the son of a Phoenix police officer, survived for 10 hours before succumbing to his injuries. Another boy who fell at the same time recovered from his injuries.

A Phoenix police report released on Thursday and reviewed by New Times only deepens the mystery of how and why three people fell at the same time during rappelling practice.

More »

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia Fired

Categories: News

chief-garcia-top.jpg
PPD
Former Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia.
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia held a press conference yesterday, in part to demand a two-year contract from the city.

He was fired for holding that press conference.

"The chief disobeyed a direct order when he held his news conference today," City Manager Zuercher said in a statement released shortly after the press conference. "We can not expect our officers to follow orders when our chief fails to lead by example."

More »

Joe Arpaio Shutting Down Infamous ID Theft Unit, Known for Workplace Raids

Categories: News

arpaio-driving.jpg
MCSO
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is shutting down his Criminal Employment Unit, which notoriously raided businesses around the county to arrest undocumented immigrant employees.

Immigrant-rights groups sued Arpaio over the raids earlier this year, and as part of that lawsuit, Arpaio submitted a notice yesterday stating that the unit is going to be disbanded.

"It's good in the sense that [Arpaio's] responding and realizing that he's going to lose this battle," Puente Arizona director Carlos Garcia tells New Times. However, an MCSO memo filed in the case says the unit's not disbanding immediately.

More »

Phoenix Cop Shoots, Kills Army Soldier

Categories: News

crime-tape-commons.jpg
Yumi Kimura
An allegedly suicidal 18-year-old Army soldier was shot and killed by a police officer Tuesday afternoon.

Police say William R. Osterlind had developed a relationship with a 14-year-old girl, and was approaching her house when a Phoenix police officer fired one shot from an AR-15 rifle that hit Osterlind in the side. As he fell to the ground, police say Osterlind fired his handgun, which went through the front door and hit the 14-year-old girl's younger sister, a 12-year-old girl, in the leg.

Osterlind died from his injury, although the 12-year-old girl's injury was not life-threatening, according to Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump.

More »

Martha McSally Officially Beats Ron Barber in CD-2 Race

Categories: News

Martha_McSally_2014_Portrait.jpg
Martha McSally.
Republican Martha McSally has officially upset Democratic Congressman Ron Barber.

The results of the recount were released this morning, and McSally won the district by 167 votes. The recount actually extended the lead for McSally, whose 161-vote lead over Barber was close enough to trigger the recount.

More »

Jan Brewer's Driver's License Ban to Be Blocked

Categories: News

welcome-to-az-top.jpg
Wing-Chi Poon
Governor Jan Brewer's executive order that prevents certain immigrants from getting driver's licenses will be blocked by a court order.

A federal appellate court decision earlier this year called for a temporary end to Brewer's order, and the U.S. Supreme Court today denied the Brewer administration's request to keep the license policy in effect. Immigrants granted deferred action by the Obama Administration will be able to get Arizona driver's licenses as soon as a few formalities are dealt with.

"This order is a big holiday gift to the DREAMers -- and a lump of coal for Governor Brewer," says ACLU attorney Jennifer Chang Newell. "It's time for Arizona leaders to put this unwise, discriminatory policy behind them and let it end with Governor Brewer's term."

More »

Phoenix Police Union: Rumain Brisbon "Had the Choice to Live"

Categories: News

phoenix-pd-union-logo.jpg
The Phoenix police union says Rumain Brisbon, the unarmed Phoenix resident who was fatally shot by a Phoenix police officer earlier this month, had the choice to live.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association issued a lengthy press release rationalizing the shooting, which it normally doesn't do.

"Mr. Brisbon had the choice to live that evening," part of the union's statement says. "Mr. Brisbon knew he was engaged in illegal activity and likely knew he would stand a good chance of returning to prison if arrested. It was Mr. Brisbon who elected to disobey repeated commands, run from the police, fight with police, resist any efforts to detain him and engage in further behavior leading the officer to believe he was armed. Had Rumain Brisbon simply submitted to lawful authority there would have been no arguments, no physical altercation and most importantly, the situation would not have escalated to the point where lethal force would have been needed to control the situation."

More »

New Times Founders Helping Fund Latino Program at ASU Journalism School

Categories: News

lacey-larkin-top.jpg
Stephen Lemons
New Times founders Mike Lacey (left) and Jim Larkin.
The co-founders of Phoenix New Times are giving a $2 million gift to Arizona State University's journalism school to support a new program focused on coverage of Latino and borderlands issues.

Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin, the New Times founders, are using proceeds from their lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to establish a Chair in Borderlands Issues at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Lacey and Larkin won a $3.75 million settlement last year for their false arrests in 2007 -- arrests that were orchestrated by Arpaio.

Lacey and Larkin say their gift to ASU stems from their "outrage at the way Mexican immigrants, in particular, have been treated by the sheriff's office."

"We are living under a lawman who has been convicted of racially profiling Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in this community and is currently facing contempt charges," Lacey says. "We are living in a state where the head of education has canceled Chicano studies in the city of Tucson. We are living in a state where the governor thinks it's appropriate to deny driver's licenses to young kinds because they were brought across the border by their parents . . . In this environment, this is a small counter weight to that level of bigotry and stupidity."

More »

Phoenix-Area Native American Communities Mum on Legalizing Pot

Categories: News

mj-bud-indian.jpg
Hupu2
Legal marijuana could be a reality in the Phoenix area even if pot remains illegal under Arizona law.

News broke last week that the Justice Department is advising federal prosecutors not to stop tribes from growing or selling marijuana on their lands, even in states where marijuana remains illegal.

According to the Justice Department memo, some tribes had requested guidance on how federal drug laws would be enforced in regards to marijuana, although it didn't say exactly which tribes were curious.

We checked with a couple of Phoenix-area Native American communities, and they're staying mum on the issue.

More »

Supreme Court Won't Hear Arizona Abortion Law, Which Remains Blocked

Categories: News

Supreme_Court_US_2010.jpg
The United States Supreme Court won't take up a case involving an Arizona law that severely restricts medicated abortions in the state.

This means that enforcement of that law remains blocked while Planned Parenthood Arizona and the Tucson Women's Clinic continue to fight the law in federal court, as they seek to have it permanently overturned.

"The Court did the right thing today, but this dangerous and misguided law should never have passed in the first place. Politicians across the country should take note -- these harmful and unconstitutional restrictions won't be tolerated by the courts or the public," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says in a statement. "Politicians are not medical experts -- but politicians have written this law with the ultimate goal of making safe, legal abortion hard or even impossible to access."

More »
Loading...