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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cop-Court Watch: Montgomery on Gerster & Keesee

"Indict Arpaio" Rally - Wells Fargo,
June 7, 2011
(Phoenix)

For those of you following the cases of the MCSO detention officers (Kevin Gerster and Alan Keesee) who assaulted their prisoners in the psychiatric unit of Lower Buckeye Jail, I'm writing to try to set the prosecutor's side of the story straight - or at least give you a piece of it. I guess it's more a clarification than a correction, so I didn't rewrite my earlier posts - just redirected folks here. I wrote to County Attorney Bill Montgomery last week because it appeared from court records as if the assault case against Alan Keesee had been dropped at the initiative of his office. My confusion, I guess. Montgomery got back to me pretty quickly asserting that the prosecution is moving forward nonetheless, and re-iterated the reason he didn't proceed with prosecuting either of those guys for abusing "vulnerable adults," as I'd been urging.

Frankly, I think if this had occurred in any other kind of institution treating psychiatric patients, the vulnerable adult statute would be invoked to raise the felony level and broaden the sentencing possibilities. But I honestly don't know the law well enough to ferret this all out myself, so I figured it was best to just let you hear the explanation straight from the county attorney.

My apologies for attributing anything less than professionalism to the folks working hard on these detention officer's prosecutions.



--email from Bill Montgomery's office, Thursday September 8, 2011--

From Bill Montgomery:

We were able to resolve the case by filing a Direct Complaint/Plea proceeding without having to go through the entire Preliminary Hearing/Trial process. So, while it looks like charges were dropped, we still proceeded with prosecution.


I can assure you that the resolution leads to the defendant no longer working in law enforcement, let alone detention.


I would also appreciate it if you would acknowledge that the goal of holding people in positions of responsibility for safely and securing handling inmates accountable when they break the law is being met. We may disagree about the best way to accomplish that but my commitment to that goal remains. Also, I previously explained to you that the basis for the crimes committed was not the mental status of the victim but the fact that he was restrained. That was the direct set of facts. If we had charged the Class 2 Felonies there is a high likelihood that we would have failed to secure convictions. It was more important to me to charge the appropriate crime so we could ensure convictions.


Thank you for your continued advocacy,


Bill Montgomery


Maricopa County Attorney

301 W. Jefferson, 8th Floor

Phoenix, AZ 85003

602-506-1260


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