Newspaper negatively chronicles police shootings
Police work is not your run-of-the-mill occupation. Few jobs have as an integral aspect the fact that when you leave for your shift, you might not return to your family. Rotating schedules include nights and weekends; routinely make officers absent from family events and holidays. High stress levels of crime scenes, where police often have to make split-second, life or death decisions take their toll. Police are accused of using excessive force when trying to subdue those high on drugs and/or armed. Now mandated body cams show isolated aspects of an arrest, calling into question the officer’s decisions. Officer suicides are no longer a rarity.
Corrections officers are attacked and killed while on the job in Arizona prisons. Two such murders took place recently.
The public expects rapid responses from dedicated officers. Yet the local newspaper and the Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, appointed in 2016, show them no mercy. Scrutiny and criticism have become routine. How many times did you see the video of the arrest of a family of shoplifters, mischaracterized as a little girl taking a doll from a Dollar Store? The officer was fired.
The Sunday edition of the Arizona Republic ran an oversize Page One article and two full jump pages with photos, including sympathetic depictions of shooting “victims.” The lengthy all caps headline?
AZ POLICE SHOOTINGS: SOME OFFICERS FIRE AGAIN AND AGAIN. The sub header: 79 officers shot two or more times — 52% worked for Phoenix — 21.5% worked for Mesa.
Mesa’s controversial Police chief Ramon Batista resigned yesterday following a no confidence vote by Mesa’s police union and Fraternal Order of Police. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, (PLEA) abruptly called off a pending vote of no confidence in Chief Williams, with no explanation.
Monday night an impaired wrong way freeway driver was responsible for colliding with Tempe police officers traveling to a crime scene in separate marked vehicles. This past Saturday night, two PPD officers were hospitalized following a DUI-related crash where the impaired driver, traveling at a high rate of speed, slammed into their patrol car as they were making a traffic stop. She was cited and released.
Imagine if the impaired driver was an off-duty officer. There is no doubt the case would not have been handled so gingerly. Career officers are now fearful of reprisals.
Phoenix Police Chief Williams has fired five officers so far this year.