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"Challenge coins" allegedly produced by a team that Phoenix Police police officers to commemorate injuring a protester.
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STEVE GOLDSTEIN: The Phoenix City Attorney"s Office will certainly be starting an outside investigation right into a an obstacle coin make after a 2017 police incident. The coin was circulated among some officers to note the shoot of a protester in the groin in 2017. The incident taken place in the after-effects of a rally organized by then-President Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center. This come up as part of examination by Dave Biscobing dubbed Politically Charged. Biscobing is one investigative reporter with ABC15, and also he spoke v my co-host, note Brodie, an ext about what the found.
DAVE BISCOBING: Well, the event where the happened, this protest in 2017 after this trump card rally in downtown Phoenix, that made a most news. And also maybe the most memorable component about it to be this guy who obtained shot in the groin. What wasn"t really known as that officers really relished and celebrated and commemorated that shot. They made these an obstacle coins. And also we thought that was critical thing that human being needed to recognize in itself. Yet then, unbeknownst to us, the following day, I acquired some advice from viewers, followers saying, "Hey, you can want to inspect the messaging on the coin. It has actually ties come white supremacist, neo-Nazi language. Especially "Good night, left side," which is to promote violence versus people regarded to it is in on the left of the political spectrum."
Let"s do this simple. Here"s a pic the the front and earlier of the challenge coin Phoenix policemans possessed after shoot a protestor in the groin. The 3rd pic is one of countless examples just how it"s regarded Neo-Nazi slogan, images. Https://t.co/McENZxBJWN pic.twitter.com/ApZm6A6gmI— Dave Biscobing (
DaveBiscobing15) February 8, 2021
MARK BRODIE: So what has actually the an answer been indigenous Phoenix police, and also how has that evolved over the last numerous days?
BISCOBING: Well, it definitely evolved. The first statement I gained in breakthrough of our story provided pretty passive language, speak the department basically couldn"t find any misconduct and also even offered the language "any such coin," as if it was in conflict that together a coin existed. Which was pretty surprising since this information about the coin is from a sue that"s still ongoing in between Puente, ACLU and Phoenix PD around the protest response method back in 2017. It"s in depositions. Their police officers admitted to having actually it. There are photos of it the were in the exhibits. So it exists. They recognize it exists. So that was surprising. Then us aired the story, and then once the next day, I got information about its ties to this dislike speech, i did some reality checking and also found, yes, that"s true. Educated the city and then it all of a sudden morphed into this, "Oh, yes, this is really concerning. We require to, we need to start one outside, independent investigation of this. This, us can"t stand for this. This needs to it is in looked into." and also I would prefer to add one other thing. Chef Jeri Williams was shown pictures of this coin in respectable 2019. She knew. She saw it. She was questioned around it. And so the is something that demands to it is in addressed, and also we have extr questions about that.
BRODIE: Well, right. And interestingly, the regulation enforcement union — the police union for Phoenix PD — is also now speak they"re concerned and also they are supportive of this exterior investigation, right?
BISCOBING: That"s right. They sent a statement simply today saying the they discovered our reports concerning, and, ns mean, rightfully so. Ns think what"s surprising, though, is that this union is such a staunch defender that its officers. And now we"re almost seeing this, friend know, "Let"s, let"s kind of step out the the way and permit this investigation take that course." and also I think that that"s one indication of just how serious this yes, really is. Over there is no other side to, no legitimate various other side to, to white supremacy, white power, neo-Nazism.
NEW REACTION ~ above COIN maintained BY PHOENIX PD OFFICERS. The main union because that rank-and-file policemans released this statement. Pic.twitter.com/IRaalKIF35— Dave Biscobing (
DaveBiscobing15) February 8, 2021
BRODIE: So let"s take it a step back and talk about some the the events that caused what girlfriend were originally reporting around — few of the protests end the summer here in Phoenix. You additionally found that Phoenix PD and the Maricopa county Attorney"s Office were basically turning protesters right into street corridor members?
BISCOBING: 2020 to be a an extremely long year for Phoenix police and also law enforcement throughout the country. Ns don"t think there"s any type of denying that. They had to respond and also manage dozens, sometimes hundreds of different protests of varying sizes transparent the year. However this situation really stood out to us. We"re going to be investigating various other cases, and also we"ll have reports coming up about other controversial cases, yet this one is possibly the many controversial in the they had actually protesters who are out marching in the streets. Yes, they"re toppling building and construction cones or street signs, that they exit a toy exhilaration maker. And also this is every done to annoy and also slow the, really the huge convoy of policemans that considerably outnumber lock behind them. But after they arrest castle this one night, they go into a cool jury, and it"s the man that runs the very same team of officers who preserved this challenge coin. And also they say some really tough to think — and in some cases, completely false information about the group and what happened that night. And also one of the many shocking bits the testimony is the they contrasted this team of 17, 18 individuals as a criminal street gang that is as dangerous and in part ways an ext dangerous than gangs favor the Crips, Bloods and also Hell"s Angels. Now, those teams have committed countless homicides in your history. This team is marching in the street moving umbrellas. To also make the comparison is pretty astounding, allow alone to charge this team is a corridor based on very broad statutes, which essentially means that if you scream — well, lock shouted, "All cops are bastards." and they wore black color mostly during this protest and most of them lugged umbrellas, the those things together do them a gang the they"re call ACAB — or all cops are bastards. And also that"s, that"s a phrase that is universally recognized that goes ago at practically 100 years and also is used across the world. It"s a phrase, and they"re alleging it"s a gang.
BRODIE: Have you obtained any an answer from the ar attorney"s office as to either why they room doing this, why they"re prosecuting these folks in this way, or any update that perhaps they"re not going to?
BISCOBING: They won"t comment on the instance publicly. They say that they will not reveal the evidence that they gift to the grand jury or discuss their basis of it. Just that they will certainly not allow violence in their streets and that basically they"re placing the obligation for this charges ~ above the grand jury saying, "Hey, a cool jury discovered this where charges to be acceptable. This is ~ above them." however that kind of misstates the process. Ns mean, they, the grand jury procedure is a one-sided, confidential process. So i don"t think that they anticipated that the cool jury transcript would be made public and also that everybody would have actually a possibility to see exactly what they told the grand jury. And also I"m surprised the they haven"t addressed these allegations publicly due to the fact that the public deserves to recognize what the prosecutors space doing in their surname in order come charge human being who space protesting as a criminal street gang. And I think internally they"re struggling to figure out yes, really what their own facts are. And I think that"s something the they"re going to need to address, since now that it is public, that is the end there. And people worthy to know whether prosecutors space abusing the power of the court to silence dissent.
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BRODIE: All right. That is Dave Biscobing, one investigative reporter through ABC15. Dave, we"ll be maintaining an eye the end for her reporting down the road. Thanks for talk to me today. I appreciate it.