Ineptitude of Joe Arpaio's Former Chief Deputy on Display in Possible Massive Data Breach

Categories: News

Matthew Hendley
A story this week from the nonprofit investigative journalism outlets ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting explores how a Chinese national gained access to all kinds of sensitive records, such as the Arizona driver's license database, before he disappeared.

"[T]he people responsible for hiring [Lizhong] Fan say one thing is clear: The privacy of as many as 5 million Arizona residents and other citizens has been exposed," the story states.

And we'll give you one guess which local law-enforcement agency is at the center of the controversy.

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Valley Police Chiefs Address Mental Health in the Wake of the Michelle Cusseaux Shooting

Categories: News

Matthew Hendley
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery (at lectern) flanked by several local police chiefs.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery brought together several Phoenix-area police chiefs yesterday to explain how the departments are handling encounters with mentally ill people.

Of course, this comes on the heels of the shooting of Michelle Cusseaux, a 50-year-old mentally ill Phoenix resident who was fatally shot August 14 by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra after, police say, she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility.

"Just Monday in my city, we spent 8 1/2 hours negotiating with a subject there were never any criminal charges on, yet he clearly was in crisis," Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier said. "His girlfriend called us, his mother called us, he had a house full of weapons. He threatened to kill himself. He threatened to kill officers that responded. [Responding officers] spent hour after hour trying to communicate -- talk."

Unlike Cusseaux, the man holed up in Surprise lived through his encounter with police.

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Phoenix PD's Shooting of Michelle Cusseaux to Be Investigated by DPS

Categories: News

Matthew Hendley
A woman holding a photo of Michelle Cusseaux in front of Cusseaux's casket.
A Phoenix police officer's fatal shooting of Phoenix resident Michelle Cusseaux will be investigated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Cusseaux, 50, was fatally shot August 14 by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra after, police say, she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility. Family and activists demanded an external investigation of the shooting. This didn't happen -- until people marched outside City Hall with Cusseaux's body in a casket on Friday.

Police Chief Daniel Garcia initially had announced that the Phoenix PD would conduct the investigation, which would be subject to an independent review by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. The people who brought Cusseaux's body to City Hall said that wasn't good enough, and a day later, Garcia announced that he asked DPS to investigate.

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Body of Mentally Ill Woman Killed by Phoenix Police Brought to City Hall by Family, Activists

Categories: News

Matthew Hendley
The casket of Michelle Cusseaux outside Phoenix City Hall.
The body of a mentally ill black woman who was shot and killed by police was brought to Phoenix City Hall today by community activists and the slain woman's family, who demanded an external investigation into her death.

Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was fatally shot by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra on August 14, after police say she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility.

Community members have joined Cusseaux's mother in calling for an independent agency to investigate the killing, in addition to the Phoenix Police Department's own investigation, although Phoenix police haven't agreed to seeking an external investigation.

"We've had to take drastic measures," Cusseaux's mother Frances Garrett said, standing beside her daughter's casket outside City Hall.

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Tempe Martial Arts Teacher Bans Workers from Ice Bucket Challenge Over Health Concerns

Categories: Health, News

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised millions of dollars for the ALS Association, but some people question whether it's safe.

One local teacher/business owner has banned her employees from participating after one of her students experienced adverse health effects following the challenge.

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Phoenix Protesters Decry Shooting of Michael Brown; More Rallies This Weekend

Ashley Cusick
Garrett Scrivner, 21, at the protest.
Robert Ramirez carried a sign that said: "Hands Up Don't Shoot."

He was among a throng of protesters gathered in Eastlake Park in Phoenix as part of the Nationwide Day of Rage, a nationally coordinated effort to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown and subsequent turmoil between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Arizona Ordered to Pay Up for Under-Funding Public Schools

Categories: News

Matthew Hendley
A Maricopa County judge has ordered the state to fund public school districts to the levels mandated by voters, meaning Arizona has to pay up about $300 million this year.

The courts have sided with school districts that argued the Legislature was under-funding schools, based on a 2000 voter-approved law that required certain increases in education funding, reflecting increases in inflation.

"This follows up on the heels of the court's decision on July 11, in which [Maricopa County] Judge [Katherine] Cooper held that the Legislature had to fund the correct inflation amount going forward -- for this year and years subsequent," Arizona Center for the Public Interest attorney Timothy Hogan tells New Times.

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Huppenthal Asks Feds to Pay for Education of Unaccompanied Minors Bused to Arizona

Ashley Cusick
John Huppenthal at yesterday's press conference.
Arizona schools chief John Huppenthal is asking the federal government to pay the costs associated with educating unaccompanied immigrant minors here in what Latino activists say is brazen political posturing.

At a press conference, Huppenthal released a letter he penned to Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, asking for the funding.

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White Supremacist Gang Member Arrested After Assaulting Man at Bar

Joseph Burgoyne
A Glendale man has been arrested after yelling racial slurs and hitting a man over the head with a beer bottle.

Joseph David Burgoyne, 28, was at Denim and Diamonds Bar in Mesa when he allegedly yelled "white power" and "nigger" at the victim. When the victim confronted Burgoyne, Burgoyne allegedly attacked him with a bottle, injuring the back of the victim's head.

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Tonopah Residents Fighting Hickman's Egg Farm Go After Clint Hickman's Campaign

Categories: News

A Clint Hickman campaign sign on a golf cart in Sun City.
Tonopah residents who are fighting a new Hickman's Family Farms facility in the town are taking the fight to Clint Hickman, a co-owner of the company and Maricopa County Supervisor.

A lawsuit filed against Hickman alleges that some of the signs used by Hickman in his re-election campaign -- featuring the shape of an egg -- are akin to a company directly influencing a campaign. The lawsuit asks that Hickman be removed from the ballot, and actually removed from office.

"Someone on that Board [of Supervisors] needs to be able to represent us," Tonopah resident Linda Williams tells New Times.

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