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, November 18, 2012

PHX RED SQUAD: New LGBTQ Community liasons.

The Maricopa County Superior Court has removed the on-line records pertaining to Chris Wilson's prosecution, preventing the community from witnessing how justice is done, or showing up to show support for the victims. I can't even tell who the judge is. Here's the information about his case you need to know to inquire at the court clerk's office: 

Please call and complain about secrecy in the judicial process. No other admitted child molester gets this kind of protection from public scrutiny.

SUPERIOR COURT RECORDS:  (This includes questions about Marriage Licenses, Divorce Decrees, or Court Cases) To view information on the website click here or to speak with a deputy clerk you may call the Clerk's Public Records Office and Customer Service Center at (602)-506-3360

The indictment was filed against Christopher Wilson (DOB 11/1968) in Maricopa Superior Court:  # CR2012142112


I began the "Queers Are Cool" campaign to alert the activist community that Chris Wilson wasn't an aberration, or just "one officer who decided to be stupid" - I guess that's what they call child sexual abuse at the PHX PD - just being "stupid." Wilson built trust with young activists just like he was supposed to as a Red Squad detective, and was commended for it - then he abused his trust and power just as so many other cops do theirs. 

The Phoenix Police should lay off the "stranger danger" emphasis in their public education BS about sexual assaults and look at the basics of how they deal institutionally with trust and power. Immediately after Wilson's arrest became public, instead of pointing out that the majority of child abuse happens at the hands of those well know to the child or family, the PHX PD released composite sketches of a Latino male snatching young girls from school bus stops - that all came AFTER the guy was caught. Why release images like that once the suspect is no longer a threat? Just to distract from the real danger - the cops themselves. 

The PPD took one giant step back from Chris Wilson's excess, but it seems to be a strategy for disrupting local activist communities: instead of bashing in our heads in Phoenix, the cops are busy trying to "friend" us - and get in bed with the most vulnerable to their tactics - our youth. Let's learn from that, and teach our children well...

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Phoenix police name new liaisons to the city's LGBT community


Phoenix police name new liaisons to the city's LGBT community

by Cecilia Chan - Nov. 17, 2012 09:50 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com

Two detectives recently took on roles as the Phoenix Police Department's liaisons to the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia's announcement in October came three months after the arrest of the previous liaison, Detective Christopher J. Wilson, on suspicion of sexual misconduct with two teenage boys.

Wilson, who handed in his badge immediately after his August arrest, met one of the boys through his duties with the LGBT community, according to court documents. Wilson sits in jail and faces an initial pretrial conference Nov. 27.

Last week, the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which oversees peace-officer training, conduct and certification, accepted Wilson's voluntary relinquishment of his state certification without discussion.

On Oct. 31, Garcia introduced Detectives Julie Smith and Dottie Conroy at department headquarters to representatives from various community groups, including the Phoenix Police LGBT Citizen Advisory Board.

Detective Dottie Conroy

Conroy, a 17-year veteran, said that as an openly gay woman, it's an opportunity "to deal with the community that I love."


Detective Julie Smith

Smith, who is heterosexual, said since joining the department nine years ago, she had always wanted to work with the various communities in Phoenix. The Phoenix native said she looks forward to her new assignment because "it is so diverse and so wonderful."

In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey estimated 6.4 percent of Phoenix's population identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. That's about 63,222 people.

Garcia, who became chief in May, will assign two detectives to each of the department's eight community advisory boards for minority groups, which include Muslims, Sikhs, Hispanics and African-Americans.

The move will enable the department to do more outreach, said Gerald Richard, assistant to the police chief.

Richard said community advisory boards foster dialog and build relationships between the department and minority groups to handle issues before they erupt into turmoil.

Don Hamill, a community activist who has served as a board member of Phoenix Pride, told Garcia officers still need more education.

"There is a problem in your force, and it affects everybody in this room," Hamill said.

Hamill said he recently overheard uniformed officers use the words, " 'the gays,' because they've been told not to use the 'F' word."

"It's wrong," Hamill said. "I was shocked to hear it. I pay their salary (and) pension."

He told the chief that there should be zero tolerance for inappropriate language, and officers should use no other adjective than citizen in talking about groups of people.

"I agree with you 100 percent," Garcia said. "We are not at Shangri-La yet."

Patrick Kelley, who co-chairs the LGBT Citizen Advisory Board, also commended the selection of Conroy and Smith.

Kelley said advisory groups help bring understanding between the community and police. He said about a year ago, a Phoenix police officer stopped a man dressed in drag going to a fundraising event and asked, "Why are you dressed like a freak?"

Kelley said the issue was brought up at an advisory-board meeting.

He said officers at the precinct where the incident took place received cultural-sensitivity training.

"When we recognize a problem, we address it professionally and not by burning down half of the city because you have one officer who decided to be stupid."

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