I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Monday, September 7, 2009

Arpaio's latest racial-profiling event

61 arrested in Phoenix crime sweep centered on DVDs

Reported by: Jennifer Parks

PHOENIX –More than 50 people were taken into custody following Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpraio’s latest crime suppression operation this weekend.

Deputies said the operation was scaled back late Sunday due to overtime concerns after a successful weekend.

"We try to come to an area, send a message and hope that the bad guys don't commit any crime," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

The sweep targeted areas between Baseline and Indian School roads from 19th to 51st avenues. A total of 61 people were arrested by Sunday night.

It could have been any other Saturday night at the El Gran Mercado, but there was nothing festive about the raid going on there.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he had a tip vendors at the Mercado were breaking the law selling counterfeit DVDs and CDs, valued at $100,000.

Some of the noted DVD titles apparently included movies currently in theaters, District 9 and G.I. Joe.

Arpaio said investigators in the recording industry asked for his help because this Mercado was caught selling pirated movies before.

Deputy Lindsey Smith said 24 of the suspects caught on Saturday were in the country illegally.

Some protesters like Michelle Brians expressed concern over arresting the vendors, who are also suspected of being in the country illegally.

"These People came to work to feed their family to put the bread on the table," one woman said near one of the raids.

The suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from drug possession and DUI to driving on a suspended license, according to Smith.

"The people from the movie industry have already been there before. We're back again, we'll keep coming back and we have other plans until that activity stops," Arpaio said.

The Sheriff called the crime suppression blitz successful and was quick to shake off criticism.

"I would think that the people would thank us when they see the black and gold car. They should say "thank you sheriff." I wonder why they are not," he said.

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