A sobering reminder of the violent and unjust climate that persists in Arizona. Originally published on the Phoenix New Times blog Feathered Bastard by Stephen Lemons:
The Arizona police state rolls on. Today, outside the Arizona state Capitol, human rights activists Salvador Reza and Anayanse Garza of the group Puente held a press conference with their lawyers. This, following their arrests the day before in the state Senate building by plainclothes officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Both alleged abuse at the hands of DPS Officer J. Gentry Burton and DPS Sergeant Jeff Trap, who collared them after warning Reza to leave, supposedly because he had been “banned” on the orders of state Senate President Russell Pearce. Reza said he was thrown up against the glass window of the building’s lobby “like a common criminal.”
Garza claimed she was dragged by her hair during her arrests. Garza had not been “banned,” like Reza.
“They used violence against me,” stated the soft-spoken, 33 year-old woman.
Reza was charged with one misdemeanor count of trespassing. Garza was hit with two felony counts, aggravated assault on an officer and resisting arrest, as well as one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
The probable cause statement for Garza
This is where the accounts of the officers and the activists diverge. In the probable cause statements for the arrests, Capitol Police Officer D. Abril is listed as the official arresting officer. Abril’s statement has Garza fighting with Trap as Reza hauled away to another room.
Abril states, “According to [Officer] Trap, Garza threw several swings at him, but missed.”
The probable cause statement for Reza doesn’t mention him being thrown up against the window. (Not that I’d expect the bulls to cop to that.) But it does offer this description of Reza being taken into custody.
Continue reading at Phoenix New Times.