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

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Defending our First Amendment Rights against the MCSO

This was shot during the "crime suppression sweep"/racial profiling exercise the Maricopa County Sheriff Office put on this weekend. Boy, it must suck to be one of them. We are promised more YouTube footage of that sweep tonight.


Hooray for the Latino media for being there to document. Hooray for Copwatch for backing them up.

MCSO YouTube Clip Sparks Outcry

Attorney Says It Violates First Amendment Rights

POSTED: 5:21 pm MST September 8, 2009
UPDATED: 6:53 am MST September 9, 2009

PHOENIX -- A videotape that shows a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detective in a heated exchange with a cameraman has some people claiming the actions are a violation of civil rights.
The YouTube video shows a member of the sheriff's office confronting a man shooting video of a crime sweep Saturday at Gran Mercado.Carlos E. Galindo, a Radio KASA host, shot the video.
"I was told that law enforcement was on your side and that they don't abuse their authority and that's clearly not the case with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office," he said.This isn't the first time Galindo said his rights have been violated.
CBS 5 News showed the video to First Amendment Attorney Dan Barr."All that's going on here is the sheriff deputy is going up and bullying this man and threatening him with incarceration when he hasn't committed any crime," he said.
"People have a First Amendment right to shoot video of other people in a public area, especially public officials doing public safety functions like the sheriff's office is."CBS 5 News gave the sheriff's office a chance to respond.
"The First Amendment, yeah, he does have the right to express and do what he needs to do but when asked by a law enforcement officer as he is conducting an official investigation, then he does cross the line," said MCSO Detective Aaron Douglas.
Later on Saturday, another person was shooting video of an MCSO traffic stop when that deputy also confronted the cameraman and ordered him to stop recording.
The person with the video camera was on the other side of a five-lane road while shooting the video."It looks on face value that the deputy may have been a little overzealous, however we don't know the entire details," said Douglas.Douglas said MCSO is reviewing its policies as a result of the two weekend incidents.
He said deputies may even start carrying video cameras so they can record incidents where people are videotaping them."Nothing has been decided yet but that's an option," said Douglas.
This isn't the first time the sheriff's department has told someone to stop videotaping.In January, Sal Reza taped a traffic stop in Goodyear because crying children caught his attention.
It was also part of a crime sweep. A Maricopa County sheriff's posse member told Reza he wasn't allowed to tape it.MCSO later said the posse member wasn't clear on the rules, and was just trying to protect a pair of undercover officers.

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