The Phoenix Police Department is under fire again. The misdeeds range far and wide, but the fact is that the department appears to have far more than its fair share of police misconduct, ranging from bullying, to pulling guns on a young family and their small children, to shooting an inordinate number of citizens. Here…

Over 1,200 Arizona Officers Decertified since 1975 It’s not particularly unusual these days to find a police officer (local, county or state) facing allegations of abuse or in some cases other criminal charges. Usually the news involves claims that a civilian was mistreated, i.e., beaten, by the cops. But police misconduct ranges far beyond simply…

The “#Me Too” movement, which has focused on sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace, has also brought attention to an interesting phenomenon among Arizona police officers. It includes not only institutional harassment and sexism, but also a slew of more serious acts on the part of cops throughout the state. Back in 2016,…

A man who was given an ultimatum by three cops of choosing to eat marijuana or go to jail has settled his civil case with the city and will receive $100,000 in damages. Edgar Castro was pulled over on what may have been a bogus traffic stop in September 2016. They say they stopped Castro…

An anonymous letter sent by “numerous employees of the Buckeye [AZ] Police Department” has called into question the operations of the department. Allegations range from bullying to criminal activities. The letter has led to the appointment of an outside investigator to examine the allegations, but even that appointment has been questioned. The letter, which has…

United States District Judge Murray Snow has found that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio violated court orders, including those prohibiting the continuing of the sheriff’s “immigration patrols.” The lengthy opinion by Snow has been described as a “bruising critique” of Arpaio’s conduct. In the ruling, Snow found that the violations of his orders constituted “civil…

Earlier this month, Senate Bill 1054 was introduced in the legislature by Arizona State Senator John Kavanagh The bill would make it an offense to take a video of “law enforcement activity” if you are within 20 feet from such activity, unless you have the permission of the officer. The proposed legislation goes on to…

In the midst of a nationwide discussion about excessive force and transparency relating to police officers, footage has been released showing two incidents of alleged improper force on the part of the police in Phoenix. We should state that the use of body cams by police officers has generally been opposed by police unions and…

The United States Constitution guarantees that we may not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures.  But when the right is asserted by a defendant in criminal case, the stock response of most law enforcement personnel is, at best, grudging acceptance of that right.  When the challenge to a search and seizure is successful, those…

A police officer from Goodyear, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix) is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly videotaped women in various stages of undress at a local tanning salon. A spokesman for the Avondale, Arizona police department says that a female patron of the tanning salon said she noticed a small square object on…

They tell us that sometimes we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” We’ve heard the expression hundreds of times. What it means, simply, is that when you examine things one at a time, you often miss the big picture. But what does that have to do with police misconduct? Here’s the point we’re trying…

For Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it’s been a tough month . . . er, we mean year . . . er, better make that years. The essence of the problem seems to be that whenever anyone has the temerity to criticize hizoner, immediate action by Joe tends to make things worse. Harassment and frivolous…

Nogales is only 180 miles south of Phoenix, but there is a world of difference between the two cities. Nogales shares with other border towns in Arizona, and in other states, including Texas and California, the distinction of having people killed with apparent impunity by United States Border Patrol agents. Is it police brutality or…

Criminal cases often take years to come to a complete resolution. The Debra Milke case is an example. MIlke was arrested in 1989, charged with the murder of her 4-year old son. She was convicted, sentenced to death, and has remained in jail, and on death row, for the past 23 years. The conviction and…

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