The community has raised concerns about Phoenix leaders about the challenge of coins
PHOENIX – Angry Phoenicians clogged phone lines during the public comment portion of a meeting of the Public Safety and Justice Subcommittee on an investigation into whether Phoenix officials made a challenge coin containing hate speech.
“We have known that for years. We know the Phoenix Police Department is racist and you are all responsible for maintaining white supremacy, “said Dr. Angeles Maldonado.” The fact that you are doing absolutely nothing about it is disgusting. “
Maldonado, the CEO of Ybarra Maldonado law firm in Phoenix, has worked on the cases of several men and women arrested during protests last year. She still represents a handful of clients charged with demonstration, but remembers what she saw firsthand as a street legal observer.
“We know the role we wanted to play and the reality is that the police didn’t care. If we were connected in any way with the group, they would target you, “she told ABC15.” There are just so many cases of absolute abuse of power. “
Several dozen others expressed similar outrage.
“This is a problem that has taken too long to be adequately addressed.”
“Year after year the City of Phoenix has self-monitored the police, self-examined the police, made the police claim they are addressing their own problems, and year after year we see ongoing violence, racism, and continued accountability and transparency.”
“We need to approach this in a way that brings real justice and real public safety to the citizens of Phoenix.”
Council members allowed callers to speak during public comment at the beginning and end of Monday’s session. However, it was heard cut off those who tried to raise concerns on other items on the agenda, including discussion of an ordinance on citing owners of barking dogs.
“I can’t believe we’re talking about dog barking rather than the racism that is perpetuated in the Phoenix Police Department,” said one caller.
“Either you are completely unaware of the news that has finally come public that the Phoenix Police Department is celebrating violence they are perpetuating in the community and that they are under an oath to silence dissent, or you are know it, and even care enough, to put this outrageous, heinous police activity on the agenda of the Public Security and Justice Subcommittee, “said another.
Councilor Carlos Garcia, representing South Phoenix, took a moment to attempt to comment at Wednesday’s session but was advised that he could only do so if he intended to include the issue as a formal agenda item to add for a later date.
Finally Garcia spoke. “I hope my co-workers have all seen the ABC coverage that people are talking about,” he said. “I think it’s something I’ve never seen before.”
“I also want to know what accountability looks like to those officials who lie and come up with something to prosecute other people,” he added.
Editor’s Note: This report is the beginning of an ongoing series of ABC15 investigative reports entitled “Politically Charged”. Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at [email protected]