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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Phoenix Sheriff Arpaio’s Goons allegedly Attack Sal Reza, day labor leader, detain attorney Chris Newman


Article originally published on technorati


For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has used his 900 member strong sheriff’s office to attack political opponents and others upon which he has declared war.  One of his most bitter enemies is Day Labor leader, Salvador Reza.


salvador from cell phone The exhausted Salvador Reza being placed in a van without air conditioning


On July 30th, Resa was attacked without provocation by several sheriff’s officers during an Arpaio press conference outside of his private prison in Phoenix called “tent city” because inmates, mostly Latino migrant workers, are held in tents in 140 degree heat. 


An act of peaceful civil disobedience had just occurred at the prison when activists blocked a Maricopa County battalion of sheriff’s officers heading out on raids of Latino barrios.  They were all arrested.



The community mobilized a protest within

40 minutes of the arrest

Reza was observing the arrests as he stood across a four lane highway from Tent City.  Reports vary, some say Arpaio gestured to his officers who crossed the street and swarmed the charismatic Reza.  Others say Arpaio was ignorant of the events, an unlikely scenario considering the Arpaio grip of steel over his force.


Chris Newman, an attorney for the National Day Labor Organizing Network who works closely with Reza witnessed the event, according to a blog in the Phoenix Sun Times.  Newman was temporarily detained by Arpaio Sheriff’s officers “because he was interfering with their daily duties”.


“I heard someone yell, `Salvador Reza's getting in his car, we gotta go get him."  said Newman. "They left across the street, this is while I was being detained. The next thing you know, he was in cuffs being walked across to the jail."


Reza was then reportedly placed into an un-air-conditioned van and held in the sweltering heat for an extended period of time.  He was booked and released early this morning.


Many believe the tactics being used by Sheriff Arpaio constitute psychological terror and intimidation.  Detaining attorney Chris Newman for merely observing an arrest is a reflection of a sheriff’s department out of control.  Until Arizona judges and politicians develop the moral back bone to stand up to a bully with a badge the Apraio reign of terror will continue. 


Arizona needs your help and support.  Until we stop the insanity at ground zero we can expect it to spread to other states!

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