Looks like Joe Arpaio, who calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," will have to stand down for a little while now.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued a ruling today, upholding claims that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office targets Hispanic drivers based on their race, a violation of their constitutional rights.
From the Arizona Republic:
Dan Pochoda of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling “a real vindication for the community. It was a terrific win — it was a very solid, comprehensive piece of work, and clearly demonstrated the unconstitutionality from top to bottom at MCSO for many years.”
The case began when Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, a Mexican tourist who was in the United States legally, was stopped outside a church in Cave Creek where day laborers were known to gather. Melendres, the passenger in a car driven by a White driver, claims that deputies detained him for nine hours and that the detention was unlawful.
Eventually, the case grew to include complaints from two Hispanic siblings from Chicago who felt they were profiled by sheriff's deputies, and from an assistant to former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon whose Hispanic husband claims he was detained and cited while nearby White motorists were treated differently.
According to the Republic, the ruling is likely to be appealed, though apparently Arpaio's lawyer was still looking over the ruling.
Remember the Liberator? The single-shot plastic gun, made with fairly cheap materials, fabricated with 3D printers? The one whose blueprints were pulled down by the State Department, but not before they were downloaded more than 100,000 times and distributed countless more times?
Well, if you happen to be printing off such a weapon, be careful — Australian police tried it, and one of the damn things blew up on 'em.
The commissioner said that a Liberator pistol had experienced a catastrophic misfire during testing. The failure would have been capable of seriously injuring the person using the firearm, the police chief said.
When the pistol successfully fired, it propelled a bullet with sufficient force to kill a target, the police revealed. When tested using a block of so-called ballistic soap — a block of gelatine used for firearms testing — the shot penetrated 17cm, which could be a fatal wound, the police said.
The police spent $35 on materials to create a Liberator and used a $1700 desktop 3D printer. The only metal parts used in the pistol's construction where the firing pin, created with a nail, and a .380 ACP calibre pistol cartridge. The all-plastic body means that the pistol is hard for security forces to detect.
Inspector Wayne Hoffman said the creation of a pistol took the police around 27 hours. Assembling the pistol's 17 parts took around a minute. Hoffman said that the police had exactly followed the original instructions for creating the Liberator, with a number of modified versions of the file currently in circulation.
Granted, there's no word on how many shots were fired with that pistol before it blew, so that might have been the result of stress and warping. Either way, that thing appears to have blown up, and blown up good.
No one's saying you shouldn't make one of your own (aside from, y'know, government agencies, possibly), but be careful, folks.
According to azcentral.com, an ASU student was left in the lobby of a hospital with a sticky note reading that he had been in a drinking competition.
Apparently, the 19-year-old was found in the emergency room lobby of St. Luke's Hospital in Phoenix, where the note read that he needed help — and given how much he drank that night, "help" is an understatement.
According to Tempe Police, the student drank 20 shots that evening, winding up with a blood-alcohol content level of .47% — keeping in mind that the legal limit is .08%, of course.
The student seems to be recovering, though apparently charges can be brought against the student's friends for abandoning him at a hospital.
The late summer and early fall of 2010 were some of the bloodiest Tucson has seen in terms of homicides. Believe me, I spent a lot of time covering and tweeting about it while working for another publication.
It got so bad during a five-week stretch (roughly Aug. 8-Sept. 10, 2010), with at least 21 reported homicides within the city limits, that Tucson police PIOs had started referring to the last workday of the week as Homicide Fridays because nearly every one began with them and us cop reporters rendezvousing at a deadly crime scene.
Most of those homicides were solved almost immediately, or not long after they were committed. Some of the assailants have been convicted and are already serving time.
But the death of at least one victim, 36-year-old Darwin Wells, had gone unsolved for more than a year-and-a-half until TPD announced Thursday it had arrested Gunnar Quick, 37, the night before in connection with that homicide.
Wells was found dead in the parking lot of the Sunflower Apartments on Golf Links near Wilmot around 2 a.m. on Aug. 27, and for a long time TPD had no clue who was involved in his death. That changed last November, according to a press release, and ultimately that led to Quick's arrest.
Those few weeks in 2010 were some tense ones around Tucson, with people trying to explain the sudden upswing in killings. Good to see that, even after all this time, police are still working to take an (alleged) killer off the street.
20-year-old Donna Smith was found dead in her apartment in March of 1976. On May 2, the man suspected of murdering her, 66-year-old Bruce McCullough was found and arrested by Tucson Police in San Diego.
McCullough, who was 28 at the time of Smith's murder, was Smith's live-in-boyfriend who disappeared shortly after Smith's death. He became the prime suspect in the murder, a conclusion that TPD homicide and cold case detectives reached in each review of the case.
TPD caught a break this year though, as it appears that McCullough slipped up and began using his old identity again after decades of using an assumed identity, and was tracked down to San Diego.
Ultimately, Mr. McCullough was arrested and charged with 1 count of First Degree Murder, a felony offense, pursuant to a warrant that had been issued for his arrest. He was transported and booked into the San Diego Jail as a Fugitive from Justice and is awaiting extradition to Tucson, Arizona. Tucson Police Department detectives also located Ms. Smith’s elderly mother, who still resides within Arizona, and personally visited her, delivering the news that her daughter’s killer had been located and brought to justice.
Oregon's Pine Eagle Charter School is in hot water today after running an exercise that featured two gunmen bursting into a meeting on campus, and opening fire on faculty while students were at home on an in-service day.
No one was hurt, however — the guns were loaded with blanks. The perpetrators? Faculty at Pine Eagle.
From The Oregonian:
Principal Cammie DeCastro said it became clear very quickly just how many of the school's 15 teachers would have survived. The answer: "Not many," she said.
Elementary teacher Morgan Gover, 31, said only two teachers would have lived to tell the tale. She admitted being scared, and also acknowledged she would have been among the casualties, having taken several fake direct hits from the shooters.
"I'll tell you, the whole situation was horrible," she said. "I got a couple in the front and a couple in the back."
The surprised staff had received training from the Union County Sheriff's Office on active shooter scenarios. They had been told they had some options, such as not rushing out of their classrooms when gunfire erupted, and locking and barricading their doors.
They weren't expecting a drill like this, and they were caught by surprise when the two men entered and began firing.
The school is considering arming teachers, or hiring armed guards or volunteers to protect students, and will be evaluating its options over the coming weeks.
Presumably, they won't run this drill again if they arm teachers.
Are you a bully, or a bully-ee? Most of us, thankfully, are neither. But a showcase of 30-second PSAs by Tucson kids could make the rest of us the most powerful people of all in bringing about an end to bullying.
After spending all day processing this as best as I could, I now feel confident in telling you that this is the weirdest story of a robbery I've seen in quite some time.
According to a release from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, a woman was robbed at the Bank of America drive-through ATM near Thornydale Road and Linda Vista Boulevard by a man wielding a knife and wearing a demon-esque mask.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division ... learned from the victim that earlier that night, she had deposited her paycheck and also wanted to withdraw some money from the drive-through ATM.
While she was still seated in her car, a male individual wearing a Halloween mask appeared. The suspect said something to the victim, but she was not able to understand as she only speaks Spanish. She also described the suspect held a knife that was possibly a larger folding knife.
The woman then pulled her arm into her car and drove away. As she drove, she looked back to see that the robber was trying to use the ATM (which likely resulted in his shining visage being displayed as prominently as it is above). According to the release, her account (and her money) were unharmed.
The Sheriff's Department is still searching for the man. Surveillance footage makes it appear as if the suspected robber was a male wearing dark clothing, with light skin, dark hair and a green demon mask with purple horns.
He should stick out in a crowd.
If you happen to have any information, PCSD asks that you call 911 or 88-CRIME with your tips.
The Modern Spirit: Selections from the Edward J. Gallagher III Memorial Collection, including works by Mark Rothko… More