Criminal Justice & Policing
Activists demand changes at Tempe PD, more community engagement
More than 20 protesters attended the first Tempe City Council meeting since charges were dropped against Joseph Jaen, the former Tempe police officer who shot and killed 14-year-old Antonio Arce 13 months ago.
Bill would make governments liable for ‘gun-free zone’ shootings
State law bars people from carrying guns in most government buildings, but Republicans on a Senate panel Thursday backed a proposal that would allow people to sue the government for damages if a shooting occurs in a “gun-free zone.”
Activists said a proposal was racist. The GOP chairman had state troopers remove them.
After an opponent of a Republican proposal to outlaw sanctuary cities in Arizona said the measure was “racist,” the GOP chairman of the panel shut down his testimony, sparking a demonstration by other critics that prompted a halt to the proceedings until state troopers arrived to remove them. “There are rules in this committee, there’s […]
Bill requires SROs take training on de-escalation, mental health
Amid controversies about the role that school resource officers play in Arizona schools, a bill that would require they be trained on mental health and de-escalation tactics has cleared a legislative committee.
Community outcry after no charges against officer who shot, killed teenager
Nearly 13 months after a Tempe police officer shot and killed 14-year-old Antonio Arce as he was running away from him, his family and community advocates are trying to understand how justice can be served, now that prosecutors have said they won’t charge the officer.
Sanctuary city bills are ‘today’s SB1070,’ immigrant rights groups warn
Immigrant advocacy groups on Thursday called on Gov. Doug Ducey and lawmakers to stand down on efforts to strengthen the collaboration between law enforcement and immigration officials.
Complaints against Cook allege bribery to benefit lobbyist, inappropriate relationship
A complaint that sparked an ethics probe into Rep. David Cook alleges he orchestrated a bribery scheme involving Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb to benefit a lobbyist he with whom he allegedly had a romantic relationship.
Native American women are missing and murdered. Will the federal government act?
Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind was 22, eight months pregnant, and looking forward to her baby shower the following day when she went missing on a sunny August afternoon in 2017. She had gone to a neighbor’s apartment in Fargo, N.D., where she had been asked to help with a sewing project. She never came home.
Court upholds ruling against state for poor prison health care
A federal appeals court upheld a contempt order and a $1.44 million fine against the Arizona Department of Corrections this week, saying the agency has been “deliberately indifferent” to health care for inmates.
A win-win for activists and Phoenix police? Yup, it’s possible
There are some Phoenix activists who believe the city’s police department has a systemic problem with police brutality. Others believe the problems are inconsequential, and the activists are part of a larger effort to wage a war on cops.
Monday Musings: Ducey budget is a better deal than GOP leadership plans
The State Capitol budget is on an election year fast track, and that’s OK. Republican legislators should pass Gov. Doug Ducey’s fiscal year 2021 budget recommendation as is, thus eliminating what has become a closed-door, drawn-out GOP budget process. Democratic legislators can protest with their votes against it.
GOP reluctantly approves bill adding harsher sentences for fentanyl, heroin crimes
The state House Judiciary Committee reluctantly approved Wednesday a proposal increasing mandatory sentencing for fentanyl and heroin crimes that is viewed by critics as a step backward in the push for criminal justice reform in Arizona. All four Democratic members of the committee voted against House Bill 2036 while all six Republicans favored it. But […]