Phoenix police union: Mayor Gallego and council engaged in ‘war on cops’




    PLEA Email
    Screenshots of the email sent to PLEA members on Oct. 28.

    The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is accusing Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the city council of fomenting a “war on cops” in the city, and is holding special meetings all week to discuss recent disciplinary actions against police officers, according to internal emails obtained by Arizona Mirror.

    PLEA is holding the meetings Tuesday through Friday with members to “discuss Chief (Jeri) Williams’ recent disciplinary decisions and the role the Phoenix Mayor and City Council are playing in the war on cops,” the email states. 

    The email is light on details on exactly what PLEA will be discussing with members, but states that “by next week, PLEA will hopefully have majority membership participation and we will be able to move forward with the ideas that will be presented at the membership meetings.” 

    The email mentions the recent firing of Officer Christopher Meyer, the officer at the center of a viral video incident in June. Meyer pointed his weapon at a family with young children could be heard yelling at a man that “you’re going to get fucking shot,” when he didn’t open his car door immediately. He also threatened to shoot the man’s pregnant fiancée. 

    The email also mentions the firing of Detective Clinton Swick, who lost his job after posts he made on Facebook with anti-Muslim sentiments were publicized by researchers. 

    “With the firing of Officer Meyer and Detective Swick, it should be recognized that they, and our department, are now victims of the radical progressives that influence our city leaders,” the email states. “Don’t let the Ferguson effect take anything from us and the good community of Phoenix.” 

    PLEA has stated on its Facebook page that it is “only discussing the possibility” of demanding a vote of no confidence in Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, but the meetings could signal a stronger push toward such a vote. 

    “I support Chief Williams and the work she is doing to make Phoenix a stronger community,” Gallego said to the Mirror in a written statement. “The Chief was clear in her message that public safety officers will be held accountable for actions that do not reflect the values of the police department.”  

    Councilman Sal DiCiccio has publicly stated his distaste with Williams’s decision to fire officers in an open letter to “the Men and Women of the Phoenix Police Department.” 

    “Management and the politicians made their choice by their actions or by their silence. Disgusting at the least,” the letter states. 

    In a livestream last week, PLEA President Michael London said that “the chief has lost the department,” but that a no confidence vote is a complicated task to undertake. 

    PLEA did not respond to a request for comment.

    Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
    Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.