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September 8, 2007

Police Terrorize Neighborhood

This is unbelievable.

In less than 30 minutes, Arpaio's special forces unleashed an unprecedented wave of violence on this quiet community. Consider this:

• Just after the tear gas canisters were shot, a fire erupted and destroyed a $250,000 home plus all the contents inside. (The home's occupants believe the tear gas canisters caused the fire. Phoenix fire officials say the blaze was probably started by a lighted candle that was knocked onto a bed during the confusion.)

• The armored personnel carrier careened down the street and smashed into a parked car after its brakes failed.

• And in the ultimate display of cruelty, a SWAT team member drove a dog trying to flee the home back into the inferno, where it met an agonizing death.

Deputies then reportedly laughed as the dog's owners came unglued as it perished in the blaze.

"I was crying hysterically," Andrea Barker, one of the dog's owners, tells me. "I was so upset. They [deputies] were laughing at me."

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 8, 2007 at 5:59 PM


Radley Balko, now a senior editor at Reason magazine, has been documenting stuff like this for the past several years.

* Read his research paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America." (purchase on-line, or direct link to 2 MB PDF file, free).

* His articles at Reason.

* His blog posts at Reason's "Hit & Run" blog.

* His personal blog, TheAgitator.com

* His blog posts at The Agitator about paramilitary police raids.

Posted by: Robert R. on September 10, 2007 at 7:12 PM


Sheriff Joe Arpaio Wants to Know What Websites You've Visited

If, that is, you've ever read the Phoenix New Times online. The alternative weekly has run several articles over the years critical of the so-called "toughest sheriff in America." But when an investigative piece on a series of questionable Arpaio real estate transactions included the sheriff's home address (possibly violating state law), Arpaio launched an incredibly broad, wide-reaching investigation that looks an awfully lot like retaliation.

Last August, the grand jury investigating the case issued a sweeping, probably unconstitutional subpoena demanding that in addition to reporter notes, drafts or articles, and internal memos, the New Times also turn over:

A) which pages visitors access or visit on the Phoenix New Times website;

B) the total number of visitors to the Phoenix New Times website;

C) information obtained from 'cookies,' including, but not limited to, authentication, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users (site preferences, contents of electronic shopping carts, etc.);

D) the Internet Protocol address of anyone that accesses the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;

E) the domain name of anyone that has accessed the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;

F) the website a user visited prior to coming to the Phoenix New Times website;

G) the date and time of a visit by a user to the Phoenix New Times website;

H) the type of browser used by each visitor (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, etc.) to the Phoenix New Times website; and

I) the type of operating system used by each visitor to the Phoenix New Times website."

After the special prosecutor in the case attempted to arrange a possibly-illegal ex-parte meeting with the grand jury and the judge, the New Times decided to publish the contents of the grand jury subpeona (pdf), explaining at the time that doing so may well get the paper's editors arrested.

It did. Arpaio had the paper's executive editor and CEO arrested last night.

My favorite New Times article on Arpaio and his deputies here.
Posted by Radley Balko on October 19, 2007 | TrackBack

Posted by: Robert R. on October 21, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Wow. That's insane.

Posted by: Rob on October 21, 2007 at 9:17 PM

From the new story you linked to:

Given the overwhelming display of force deployed by Arpaio's deputies, one would have expected the arrest of a mass murderer.

Instead, the crack SWAT boys nabbed 26-year-old Eric Kush. Let me tell you, Kush is really a bad, bad guy.

He was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for failing to appear in Tempe Municipal Court on a couple of traffic citations.

All that for a few traffic tickets.

Posted by: anonymous on February 6, 2008 at 2:20 PM

More hijinks in Marikafka County.


Posted by: Robert on November 4, 2009 at 7:46 PM

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