THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

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

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Monday, April 19, 2010

Operation Nation: Arpaio 5 Coverage

Borrowing this post for the Arpaio 5 update  from Brian Wilkins' Blog, Operation-Nation. Check it out; he's on top of things...
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"Arpaio Five": Phoenix Protestors Pepper Sprayed At January Rally Face Different Obstacles

by Brian A. Wilkins
4/4/2010

It is going on three months since five young people exercising their First Amendment rights were attacked by Phoenix Police, and forever had the course of their existence altered. There has, however, been some good news in the subsequent persecutions, which are now taking place.
All "charges" against Mr. Garyn Klasek and Ms. Claire Elizabeth Brock were dropped on January 29, after county prosecutors read the report drafted by obviously lonely Phoenix Police.


Ms. Claire Elizabeth Brock (L) and Mr. Garyn Klasek (R). Photos
from arpaiofive.blogspot.com.


The report alleges that [I'm paraphrasing] Ms. Brock jumped on Mr. Klasek's back and attached a chain from her waist to his neck. After reading the report himself, Mr. Klasek responded this way: "I don't recall filming a porn [movie] at the March." Regardless, no reasonable human being can believe anything these clown Phoenix cops say after reading this fictional fantasy, which has further destroyed any and all credibility this organization thinks it has.
Both Mr. Klasek and Ms. Brock have prima facie Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment federal claims against the Phoenix Police, but there is no word whether they will pursue such actions as of yet. They have until July to file a claim notice with the Phoenix Police on possible state law violations and two years to file federal claims.

The news is not as rosy for the other three, particularly Ms. Sarah Grace Daniels, as her case is proceeding in classic Maricopa County fashion.


Ms. Sarah Grace Daniels. Photo from
arpaiofive.blogspot.com.


Ms. Daniels appears to be the ONE these Maricopa County people are trying to make an example of, since chances are they will lose the other two pending cases.

In one of the most bizarre case dockets I've ever seen, Maricopa County filed a motion on March 4, asking for Ms. Daniels to submit to fingerprinting, which was granted by the court a week later. Its bizarre because Ms. Daniels was arrested and charged with the serious crime of "aggravated assault on a police officer," yet no prints were taken during the booking. Maricopa County has alleged, on January 29, the charges against Ms. Daniels are of a "dangerous" nature, thus not eligible for probation at sentencing (unless, of course, she signs some BS "plea deal"). The bottom line with Ms. Daniel's case is that Maricopa County alleges she used a "wooden stick or pole" as a "dangerous instrument," but as we've viewed virtually all angles of video of the incident, there is nothing that shows Ms. Daniels with a "wooden stick or pole" "assaulting" an "officer."
But this may not matter in the case, as Ms. Daniels is being represented by Clifford I. Levenson, whom I'm sure has his own private practice, but I'm unsure whether Ms. Daniels is paying for his services or if he is contracted through Maricopa County.


Attorney Clifford Levenson

Levenson declared in his March 18 disclosures that he will only use a few "character witnesses" at trial and will use no other evidence for the defense, including video or witness testimony from the scene which could potentially exonerate Ms. Daniels.  
Levenson has a checkered past as an attorney and it seems to be showing here. According to his website, he relocated to California from 2000-2005 to work in the offices of attorneys Do Phu and Anh Tuan. But this move was not voluntary by Levenson. According to the Arizona Bar Association, Levenson had his law license suspended by the Arizona Supreme Court on October 16, 2000 for one year and was placed on probation for two years after the suspension. He was not re-instated until September 22, 2004. According to the Bar, Levenson took retainer fees from clients and then failed to "adequately communicate" with them and "engaged in conduct that was prejudicial to the administration of justice."

Apparently, Levenson used retainers fees to support a drug habit, as again, according to the Bar, he entered drug rehab in Southern California in October 2000. I'm not one to point out people's past mistakes, but when it comes to the life of an innocent young woman (Daniels) being dragged through this system, Levenson's past is relevant.

In contrast, preliminary props can be given to attorneys Ashley Adams and Ernesto Quesada, who represent Mr. Issa Emadi and Mr. Jeremiah Henry, respectively.


Mr. Issa Emadi and Mr. Jeremiah Henry. Photos from
arpaiofive.blogspot.com.


In yet more bizarre (but good) happenings in these proceedings collectively, both attorneys filed a "notice of defenses," which is something I've never seen in all the cases I've covered in Maricopa County. CLICK HERE to read Mr. Henry's defenses. These "notices" are bizarre because this is the first time in two years I've ever seen defense attorneys in Maricopa County put forth a real effort to DEFEND their clients. Both attorneys correctly assert defenses such as insufficiency of state evidence, lack of criminal intent, and malicious conduct by Maricopa County deputies, which incited the disturbance.

Mr. Emadi's "charges" must stem from some other set of circumstances, because he is charged with class 6 felony "aggravated assault," as opposed to the more serious class 2 felony charges Henry and Daniels face. He is also charged with one of the more bogus "crimes" I've ever heard about: "attempted aggravated assault," which is a misdemeanor.

The fact is that Mr. Emadi and Mr. Henry have a chance to possibly get their regular lives back, since they seem to be represented by decent counsel (up to this point), as opposed to one of [now former] county attorney Andrew Thomas' whores in the public defenders office. This does not seem to be the case for Ms. Daniels, as it appears her lawyer, Levenson, will do anything to possibly move up the ranks in the county, and thus hope his past disappears. It is common knowledge that all a public defender or defense attorney must do in Maricopa County is destroy someone's life in the name of Andrew Thomas, in order to be promoted or land some other higher-paying, more powerful position (see public defender Michael Ziemba).

I've had the pleasure of meeting all five of these individuals and knowing them only reinforces the fact they are being targeted by this alleged justice system. All of them are very peaceful and very earthly, yet at the same time, believe strongly in our Constitutional rights as Americans; which is why they are being targeted. The First Amendment is supposed to protect those who protest wrongs by government, but instead lead to these individuals being assaulted and charged by those sworn to protect.

I expect Mr. Emadi to ultimately be offered some sort of misdemeanor/community service/expungement "plea deal," to avoid trial (which I hope he does not sign). Mr. Henry will likely be offered a last-hour misdemeanor "plea," but again, the State has NO evidence of these alleged assaults, so they will either have to drop the charges or go to trial. Ms. Daniels is the one who needs the most attention, as her attorney may actually be working for the other side.

Mr. Henry will next appear in court on April 26, for a "Comprehensive Pre-Trial Conference," with trial scheduled to start July 7. Mr. Emadi's next appearance will be on April 12, with trial set to begin on May 26. Expect both to be offered "plea deals" at their next appearances. Ms. Daniels will next appear on May 5, with trial set for July 12.

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RELATED ARTICLE:

Phoenix (AZ) Police Pepper Spray Peaceful Protestors (1/16/2010)

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