Sunday, July 12, 2009

Police Brutality VIDEO: Prescott, AZ. [Trial in August].

Marcelo was assaulted by Sheriff's in plain clothes in Prescott, Arizona on March 18th, 2009 at the Safeway Supermarket. He is being wrongfully held at Camp Verde Detention center for resisting arrest. His jury trial will be on August 18th. Support Marcelo!

On March 18, 2009 at 6pm Marcelo Garcia-Rodriguez, my partner, was arrested at the Safeway parking lot on White Spar rd. in Prescott Arizona. I arrived on the scene at 8:30 pm and found three officers of a special division of the YCSO (Yavapai County Sheriffs Office) PANT (Partnership Against Narcotics Trafficking) in plain clothes and one local police officer in uniform with a squad car. Officer Direen, T. from Unit C52 informed me that Marcelo is a known Cocaine dealer and that Marcelo had sold cocaine to an officer. He also told me that a dog had alterted on the car, which had given them permission to search the vehicle. Both officer Direen, T. and another officer told me that I should rethink my relationship to Marcelo. I asked for the keys to Marcelo’s 1996 Black Chevy, and informed the officers that the title and registration were in my name. The officer said that they had to continue checking the car for drugs and would not be able to give me the keys if drugs were found in the vehicle. The officers after having ripped the car a part gave me the keys to the vehicle. I asked the officers what Marcelo was charged with and they told me he had assaulted an officer, threatened and intimidated an officer, and evaded arrest he did not mention any drug related charges. I called the jail that evening to find that he had no drug charges and can only assume that what officer Direen said to me was misinformation.
On March 19th at 6:45 in the Morning I spoke to Marcelo during visitation hours at the Yavapai County Detention Center based in Prescott. Marcelo’s face was swollen and his eye was swollen nearly shut. Through Marcelo’s hair I could see that the top and back of his head was swollen and that there were chunks of blood. He had bruises on his back his knees and elbows.
He arrived at the Safeway at about 7pm. I had spoken to him as he arrived and he told me that he would be home soon. Marcelo went to the Safeway because a man he had worked with, Steven Largent, owed him $300. Steven had asked him for the money to install a bathroom and Marcelo’s generous nature got the better of him. Steven previously had written Marcelo two bad checks and Marcelo was meeting him because Steven said he could pay him back.
Steven got into Marcelo’s car and Marcelo asked him for the money. Steven grabbed the two bad checks and got out of the car. Marcelo followed him out of the car and pushed Steven and retrieved the two checks. Steven looked like he wanted to fight so Marcelo went into the Safeway to end the dispute. Several officers in plain clothes followed Marcelo. One officer brandished a weapon.
Cameron Boswell, the faculty representative for the Aztlan Center was standing in the parking lot wrote a testimonial to the lawyer saying he did not know that the men were officers and that they did not show their badges. He said that he immediately left the parking lot when he saw a man brandishing a gun because he was afraid.
Upon entering Safeway a man yelled police and so Marcelo turned around. Marcelo said no one standing behind him identified themselves as an officer, or showed him a badge so that he was aware that the men were in fact police. He went to turn around but an officer punched him in the face, calling it a stunning technique.
“I struck him across the face to stun him into compliance.” Narrative for Police Report #09-010172 written by Detective T. Direen.
A videotape that lawyer David Bednar subpoenaed from the Safeway Corporation that we received on Sunday March 26th, 2009 shows two officers in plain-clothes push Marcelo to the ground. It shows minimal to no struggle from Marcelo. It shows an officer kick and knee Marcelo in the head and later when Marcelo is lying face down on the ground it shows an officer raise their elbows and hit Marcelo in the back of the head. The video tape also shows Steven Largent pick up Marcelo’s cell phone and the two bad checks that he had written to Marcelo.
In a supplemental narrative provided by Suttle, B. #1555 in the police report it states,
“During the scuffle with Marcello I felt my knee stretch out. I noticed the following day that my knee had swelled and was hurting. I filed a workman compensation report and advised Detective Direen of the injury.” The officer had previously hit Marcelo in the head with his knee while he was lying facedown on the ground.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Beer and Revolution: Art in resistance, anarchism, and currency experiments

Collin Sick

The second Beer and Revolution is coming up, and we're excited to have Joey G. as the featured speaker for our second B&R. The first B&R was held earlier this month at the bar Boulders on Broadway in Tempe, over 20 anarchists and anti-authoritarians came out, joined by a few Marxists and constitutionalists as well. The discussions, debates, and conversations went long past the self designated Midnight ending we anticipated, despite some significant political disagreements everyone was in good humor, and the bartender kept the beer pouring.

The next two B&Rs will be a step up, we have lined up some fantastic speakers for these events. The July get together will feature local anarchist, librarian, artist, and local currency proponent Joey G, Joey's been in the news lately for a local currency experiment that he and other Phoenix artists are pushing called PHX BUX, the project is picking up steam as over two dozen local businesses now participate. Many already know Joey G for his promotion of the local arts scene and curating the long running anarchist library, an accessible archive he's made available to the public for nearly a decade, and his belief in art as a tool in the struggle for a better and freer world. These are some of the subjects that Joey G will be talking about at the July installment of Beer and Revolution, we look forward to all the debate, thought, criticism, and inspiration this event may further.

Once again, Beer and Revolution begins at 9 PM, and Joey will speak a little later, giving folks time to get there, get settled, and grab a couple of brews.

Come down to Tempe on Sunday, July 12, have some tasty beers and interesting talk, and enjoy the company of other anarchists and anti-authoritarians from the valley. Joel Olson, a longtime agitator, anarchist, and member of Bring the Ruckus, is scheduled as to speak on his study of fanaticism at the August B&R, more information on this to come soon.

We at PCWC look forward to seeing you in July, cheers!