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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Officer James Peters and the consequences of failing to obey.

One of the other community members organizing around the shooting of John Loxas came across this petition today...it's closed, now, but was apparently written in December 2011.

Here's Officer Peters' amended report of the incident, probably after the guy filed a complaint.


-----as posted at CHANGE.ORG------

Drop the charges from a wrongful arrest "Failure to obey a police officer"

I'm a person of minority descent that has had his civil right violated by the Scottsdale, AZ police department. If this injustice has happened to me, it can & will continue to happen to many minority groups. If you are like me and understand the value of having a clean record, and how it pertains to gainful employment & social mobility--these charges should have been dropped the very same day.

My name is Andrew xxxx and I’m a University of Pennsylvania alumnus/student that has had his civil rights violated. I’m an African-American male that was wrongfully arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona on October 28th, 2011. I’m from an impoverished background in Southwest Philadelphia; all of my older brothers have been incarcerated—except for myself. I have worked my way through this, and learned how to be a student. I’ve started my academic career at the Community college of Philadelphia and got into and graduated from one of the best schools in the country--University of Pennsylvania. I’m currently taking courses at the University through my job at one of the University’s libraries. I had taken off from work to see one of my brothers that were locked up in a federal prison in Arizona, when the transgressions occurred. I have a letter here that I’ve sent to the Scottsdale Police and various Arizona/Philadelphia/New York non-profit organizations to solicit help of any kind, please read and thank you in advance for doing so:


Scottsdale Police Department
9065 E. Via Linda
Scottsdale, AZ 85258


To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Andrew xxxxx, I’m a University of Pennsylvania alum and current student that has had his civil liberties trampled upon. On the night of October 28, 2011, I was wrongfully arrested and charged by police officer Peters (badge# 745).

First we were unlawfully stopped, Mr. Rawle xxx and Ms. Megan xxxx were the passengers in the front seat--while I had sat in the backseat. When stopped, Officer Peters had asked for license and registration from Mr. xxx. While sitting in the backseat, Officer Peters’ assisting officer had asked me “If I had I.D?” I had replied to him, “I’m sorry officer, but I’m from out of state and I did not know that I would have to provide I.D—if I’m in the backseat.” Officer Peters hearing this, looked into the car and threatened to “pull me out of the car.” In disbelief, I had asked him again what did he say? He yelled, “If you don’t show the officer your I.D, I will pull your ass out of the car!” After he yelled that at me, I had showed the other officer all of the identification I had on my person. While handing him my identification, I had asked for his name & badge number—a question which he had ignored, so I had asked again with no avail. After inspecting our identification, Officer Peters had asked us to leave our vehicle.

Outside of the vehicle, Officer Peters explains he had stopped our vehicle because the “light was a little dim, and now he was conducting an investigation.” Once again, I had asked for his name and badge number—but this time he had refused to tell me it and replied, “it will be on the citation!” After saying this, he yelled at us to sit on the curb. I’m noticing the area that he had pointed at us to sit, and realizing my herniated disks would become further aggravated if I had sat there, I told the officers “I have a bad back, I cannot sit there because of my bad back—but I’ll be get on my knees in a non-threatening position to comply with whatever it is you want.” Officer Peters’ co-officer had said, “sit on the curb!” And I had replied, “I had hurt my back playing sports “ while getting on my knees and putting my hands slowly to the ground. That is when Officer Peters had yelled, “get your ass on the curb or I’m going to arrest you!” I have a bad back, I had replied—while in a non-threatening kneeling position. He yelled out, “that’s it I’m arresting your ass for giving me attitude!”

While he was putting the handcuffs on me, I had replied “I’ve never been arrested before, and I’ve come all the way to Arizona for the first time to get arrested.” He then said you keep giving me “attitude.” While in handcuffs in a kneeling position, Officer Peters had continued to yell, threaten, and ask entrapping questions to Mr. Warner and Ms. Fells. I told them that they did not have to answer his questions. He then said, “I’m going to impound your car, it’s gonna get towed—if you don’t answer my questions!” And he had came over to me, and yelled “shut up!” And I had asked him, “why do you keep yelling?” He replied, “Because you keep giving me attitude!” And then he went back to asking inflammatory questions, which I had told them not to answer. And he finally yelled for his partner to take me away from his investigation.

While in handcuffs and sitting in the back of a patrol car, I had asked the officer what I was in handcuffs for. He replied, “Hindering an investigation and failure to obey.” I’d then asked, “when did the investigation start?” Officer Peters’ assisting officer responded, “The investigation started, when we pulled you over.”

When Officer Peters’ approached the vehicle, he read me part of my rights—until his patrol supervisor had pulled up. Then he rolled up the windows in the backseat, and turned up the radio so I couldn’t hear what they were talking about. In that instance, I had feared for my life. But nothing had happened, and I was transported to a holding facility.

After spending the night in a holding cell, Officer Peters had came in and took my information and later read me my rights fully. And then after that, I had told him how wrong he was and how he violated my rights as a citizen of this country. He had admitted guilt to me in our 30 minute discussion on “abuse of power.” I also have two witnesses in the holding cell that could attest to this. Please rectify this situation before it spirals out of control.

Sincerely,

Andrew xxxx

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