The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

SUPPORT your local Prison Abolitionist!

To all my AZ friends/family: Thanks so much for your and likes and hope and encouraging words these past 4 1/2 years. You helped me survive some of the loneliest days and hardest nights I've endured yet by keeping our connections alive across 2000 miles.

My 55th birthday is June 13, 2019, and I plan to celebrate it in PHX (details to be announced). I'm leaving Michigan (god willing) by May 25 - and should land in an undisclosed location in the Deep Southwest soon after.

Here's my PAYPAL link for anyone who wants to shoot me $10 bucks or throw a big impromptu anarchist talent show and pass a hat or something to help me make it home. Once I land I'll be back to work on my art again, and will send a homemade gift to everyone I can...

PAYPAL.ME/ARIZONAPRISONWATCH

And don't forget to pick up PJ Starr's 2016 documentary film about the life ad death of Marcia Joanne Powell:

NO HUMAN INVOLVED

SHARING IS CARING,

so please share with all our friends!!

THANK YOU and MUCH to all, near and far.

Love,

Peggy Plews May 18, 2019

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Police Brutality Watch: Gerster February update.


Been taking care of my family today and didn't make it to Kevin Gerster's pretrial conference as planned. There doesn't appear to be any news coverage on him from the past week, and the notes from today's proceedings aren't posted to the Superior Court website yet, so if anyone else out there knows what may have transpired this AM, let me know. I'll post the time/date of his next hearing once it shows in the record. No news yet on the charging of officer Alan Keesee for his assault on a prisoner in the psychiatric unit. As far as I know, he's still on paid leave with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

What I can tell you is that - much to my surprise - the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has not only not swept this under the rug, but they've been hitting Gerster with allegations about historical priors and multiple counts for offenses committed on separate occasions - they filed those last week, apparently (see here, here and here). I still think class 6 felonies are too low for what he did (below is the Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1204 description of aggravated assault). But kudos to Montgomery and crew for going after him on allegations as doggedly as they go after the rest of us...

Damn. I shouldn't be encouraging vindictiveness or prosecutorial excess; this is really a perfect opportunity to talk about what transformative justice could look like when applied to state agents like Gerster and Arpaio - the people I really want most to see get punished. I'll work on that and get back to folks once it perks for awhile. Send me your thoughts.

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ARS 13-1204. Aggravated assault; classification; definition

(L10, Ch. 241, sec. 1 & Ch. 276, sec. 2)

A. A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203 under any of the following circumstances:

1. If the person causes serious physical injury to another.

2. If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

3. If the person commits the assault by any means of force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part or a fracture of any body part.

4. If the person commits the assault while the victim is bound or otherwise physically restrained or while the victim's capacity to resist is substantially impaired.

5. If the person commits the assault after entering the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault.

6. If the person is eighteen years of age or older and commits the assault on a child who is fifteen years of age or under.

7. If the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203, subsection A, paragraph 1 or 3 and the person is in violation of an order of protection issued against the person pursuant to section 13-3602 or 13-3624.

8. If the person commits the assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim is any of the following:

(a) A peace officer, or a person summoned and directed by the officer while engaged in the execution of any official duties.

(b) A constable, or a person summoned and directed by the constable while engaged in the execution of any official duties.

(c) A firefighter, fire investigator, fire inspector, emergency medical technician or paramedic engaged in the execution of any official duties, or a person summoned and directed by such individual while engaged in the execution of any official duties.

(d) A teacher or other person employed by any school and the teacher or other employee is on the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent to the school or is in any part of a building or vehicle used for school purposes, any teacher or school nurse visiting a private home in the course of the teacher's or nurse's professional duties or any teacher engaged in any authorized and organized classroom activity held on other than school grounds.

(e) A health care practitioner who is certified or licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13, 15, 17 or 25, or a person summoned and directed by the licensed health care practitioner while engaged in the person's professional duties. This subdivision does not apply if the person who commits the assault is seriously mentally ill, as defined in section 36-550, or is afflicted with alzheimer's disease or related dementia.

(f) A prosecutor.

(g) A code enforcement officer as defined in section 39-123.

(h) A state or municipal park ranger.

9. If the person knowingly takes or attempts to exercise control over any of the following:

(a) A peace officer's or other officer's firearm and the person knows or has reason to know that the victim is a peace officer or other officer employed by one of the agencies listed in paragraph 10, subdivision (a), item (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) of this subsection and is engaged in the execution of any official duties.

(b) Any weapon other than a firearm that is being used by a peace officer or other officer or that the officer is attempting to use, and the person knows or has reason to know that the victim is a peace officer or other officer employed by one of the agencies listed in paragraph 10, subdivision (a), item (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) of this subsection and is engaged in the execution of any official duties.

(c) Any implement that is being used by a peace officer or other officer or that the officer is attempting to use, and the person knows or has reason to know that the victim is a peace officer or other officer employed by one of the agencies listed in paragraph 10, subdivision (a), item (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) of this subsection and is engaged in the execution of any official duties. For the purposes of this subdivision, "implement" means an object that is designed for or that is capable of restraining or injuring an individual. Implement does not include handcuffs.

10. If the person meets both of the following conditions:

(a) Is imprisoned or otherwise subject to the custody of any of the following:

(i) The state department of corrections.

(ii) The department of juvenile corrections.

(iii) A law enforcement agency.

(iv) A county or city jail or an adult or juvenile detention facility of a city or county.

(v) Any other entity that is contracting with the state department of corrections, the department of juvenile corrections, a law enforcement agency, another state, any private correctional facility, a county, a city or the federal bureau of prisons or other federal agency that has responsibility for sentenced or unsentenced prisoners.

(b) Commits an assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim is acting in an official capacity as an employee of any of the entities listed in subdivision (a) of this paragraph.

B. A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault by either intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person, intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury or knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure the person, and both of the following occur:

1. The person intentionally or knowingly impedes the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by obstructing the nose and mouth either manually or through the use of an instrument.

2. Any of the circumstances exists that are set forth in section 13-3601, subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.

C. Except pursuant to subsections D and E of this section, aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 or 2 or paragraph 9, subdivision (a) of this section is a class 3 felony except if the victim is under fifteen years of age in which case it is a class 2 felony punishable pursuant to section 13-705. Aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 3 or subsection B of this section is a class 4 felony. Aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 9, subdivision (b) or paragraph 10 of this section is a class 5 felony. Aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 or paragraph 9, subdivision (c) of this section is a class 6 felony.

D. Aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 or 2 of this section committed on a peace officer while the officer is engaged in the execution of any official duties is a class 2 felony. Aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section committed on a peace officer while the officer is engaged in the execution of any official duties is a class 3 felony. Aggravated assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 8, subdivision (a) of this section resulting in any physical injury to a peace officer while the officer is engaged in the execution of any official duties is a class 5 felony.

E. Aggravated assault pursuant to:

1. Subsection A, paragraph 1 or 2 of this section is a class 2 felony if committed on a prosecutor.

2. Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section is a class 3 felony if committed on a prosecutor.

3. Subsection A, paragraph 8, subdivision (f) of this section is a class 5 felony if the assault results in physical injury to a prosecutor.

F. For the purposes of this section, "prosecutor" means a county attorney, a municipal prosecutor or the attorney general and includes an assistant or deputy county attorney, municipal prosecutor or attorney general.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Charges dismissed against the Arpaio 5.

Been battling dental oppression lately which derailed me early into Garyn and Claire's trial today, so I missed the grand finale, personally, and haven't seen much of a write up yet from others. As court was getting underway this AM - the prosecution having rested yesterday on the conflicting testimony of several cops - the defense was busy working on photographs and videos they had to submit into evidence. (If you ever need that for your own trial, bring a back-up machine - they don't have prompt service if their own projector or other equipment fails). The judge heard "Rule 20" motions from both defense attorneys. Rule 20 states the following:

Rule 20. Judgment of Acquittal

a. Before Verdict. On motion of a defendant or on its own initiative, the court shall enter a judgment of acquittal of one or more offenses charged in an indictment, information or complaint after the evidence on either side is closed, if there is no substantial evidence to warrant a conviction. In an aggravation hearing, after the evidence on either side is closed, on a motion of a defendant or on its own initiative, the court shall enter a judgment that an aggravating circumstance was not proven if there is no substantial evidence to warrant the allegation. The court's decision on a defendant's motion shall not be reserved, but shall be made with all possible speed.

b. After Verdict. A motion for judgment of acquittal made before verdict may be renewed by a defendant within 10 days after the verdict was returned.


The defense put up their first witness, a photographer who was present at the rally on January 16, 2010. They adjourned for lunch to research a few things, then reconvened and the judge dismissed charges due to lack of evidence that the state could obtain a conviction on any count if they proceeded. In other words, we ended up with a fair and honest judge, this time, and the cops who could have so easily compared their stories and lied to make for a better case, didn't. Maybe they were all satisfied with the jail time they nailed Grace with in her plea bargain.

I had to leave before lunch, but it's my understanding that the charges are all dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the state can't turn around and charge Claire or Garyn again. YAY!!! Way to hang in there, you two.

I learned a lot from the cops about riot control procedures during this trial, and about their own vulnerabilities when it comes to making arrests that can actually be prosecuted. The cops couldn't even identify each other in the march, much less individual protestors. They were disoriented and confused when the pepper spray hit, even the ones in gas maks. Their testimony was conflicting, except that all indicated pepper spray was deployed, it was a chaotic atmosphere, it was hard to hear and see, and no one identified themselves as police to Garyn or Claire until after they were in custody.

Garyn was arrested on the word and gesture of a cop whose glimpse of a similarly-dressed bottle-thrower was immediately obscured by pepper spray; an officer who couldn't even identify him as the thrower in the aftermath. He was handed off to several other officers for detention, arrest, and booking, such that it sounds as if the booking officer never even heard the integrity of the direct testimony of the witness. That was how the cops were organized out there to function, too - the front line would hand suspects out to the arrest team with a brief synopsis of what happened, then fall back in line, not follow through with the booking themselves - not really even know who was doing it, apparently.

The myth that made Claire an accomplice to Garyn's non-act of resisting arrest - supposedly chaining herself by the neck to his body in an attempt to obstruct police - was repeated by every cop that testified about her yesterday, but no one had any evidence of such a chain or leash, no did any of them see Claire wearing anything resembling a collar. The only possible explanation for this phenomena seems to be that Claire's purse strap got caught on Garyn somehow and when the police tried to take him town, they dragged her down on top of him, kicking and screaming with no idea of what was happening. It's a wonder no one got seriously hurt.

It was also clear from police testimony that they were expecting "trouble" from the anarchists by the time the marchers reached the site where the pepper spray was deployed - it sounds like they were trying to provoke it along the route. I saw photos and heard testimony myself that cops were punching people in the black bloc crowd before any bottles were thrown.

That all said, I think Stephen Lemons and the Phoenix New Times owe the Arpaio 5 a big apology for convicting them before trial last year, and not showing up to see how the real thing turned out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trial of the Arpaio 5: This is what an anarchist looks like.

Hey Phoenix PD:
















This is what an anarchist looks like.


So is this...




------------From the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition list-serve--------



The trial will continue Wednesday, Feb. 2nd at 10:30 AM on the sixth floor (Rm. 612) of the East Court Bldg located at 101 W. Jefferson. It will open with the defense motioning for a Rule 20, meaning that the state is left with the burden of providing evidence that could lead to Garyn and Claire's convictions. If they can't, then the cases get dismissed, to my understanding. If they don't, trial will continue with witnesses for the defense. Today, trial kicked off with the state's witnesses, four cops, who pretty much punched holes through the state's case and the police reports with the assistance of the defense attorneys, the judge and even the prosecutor, ironically! Unfortunately, the police did ID the defendants, so their cases weren't dismissed today.

http://arpaiofive.blogspot.com/2011/02/garyn-and-claires-trial-reconvenes.html

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Also, Brian Wilkins was at the trial from the get-go today (I stumbled in with no pen half an hour late), so follow his Operation Nation blog posts for the details on the trial. Really, go read it; you won't find a better account anywhere else. What a huge waste of our time and money the MCAO is responsible for here.