Video by Sallydarity / set to Comin' up from Behind ( Marcy Playground)

Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...


This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.

Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.

Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.

I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.

In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.

I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281. collective@phoenixabc.org

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com



AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Corizon's deliberate indifference: fighting back.



 The Ghosts of Jan Brewer, from Arizona's Other Death Row...
Firehouse Gallery Sidewalk, Phoenix (July 2012)
 


Hey friends and families of AZ DOC prisoners:

I received this piece of correspondence aboout Corizon's recent performance at the AZ DOC from someone on Donna Hamm's (of Middle Ground Prison Reform) email list. Corizon has the contract to provide health care to prisoners now. 

I encourage friends and family members of prisoners to contact your legislators with alarm about this information, as well as the persistently high rate of prisoner suicides and homicides under this administration (both are twice the rate as under the previous director), the gangs dominating the yards and the high level of violence, the class action suit over prisoners' shoddy medical and mental health care, and the deliberate indifference that DOC Director Charles Ryan's staff have shown to prisoners who are suffering terribly (like marcia powell, tony lester, ferdinand dix, anthony brown). They are just some of the Ghosts of Jan Brewer...

If you have a loved one at ASPC-Eyman, legislators for their prison (as well as for ASPC-Florence) get all sorts of bonuses for having so many prisoners in district #8, so put them to work protecting their constituents' rights. Send them an email as well as a personal, hand-written note asking for their intervention - which you will probably have to folllow up with a phone call to their office. Don't wait for them to call you, in any case. They are: Senator Barbara McGuire  and Representatives Frank Pratt and TJ Shope. Their snail mail addy is:

AZ State Legislature
 1700 W. Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Senate
(602) 926-3559
House
(602) 926-4221 

Please also print and send this post to your loved one, and send them copies of the AZ DOC health care access policy (DO 1101)  and the grievance process (DO 802). That's the language they'll have to fight in if they are to survive their sentences. There's a pretty good prisoner's guide for handling grievances here, and my February newsletter touched on the issue of grieving problems accessing health care as well. 

Here is the Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual that I send parts of to prisoners: download and print chapter 23 if your loved one is struggling to get adequate (or any) medical care. Send them chapters 14 and 16, too, if they plan to sue the DOC themselves.

Here's a list of attorneys I know are capable of suing the DOC as well. If your loved one in prison has suffered actual harm,  has done the grievance process properly, and can make a compelling argument of deliberate indifference (which is a higher standard than simple negligence), you may find a lawyer willing to take it on contingency.


Here is the actual complaint which forms the basis of the current class action suit agaisnt the DOC, "Parsons v Ryan". It's a good read for understanding what the ACLU does and doesn't think is unconstitutional in re: medical and mental health care in prison, in case you're trying to figure out how to gauge and respond to what your oved one is experiencing. Contact the ACLU-AZ, too, to report human rights abuses and deliberate indifference to prisoner physical and mental health - they're in on the class action.

The people who are being prosecuted via  Parsons v Ryan  are AZ DOC Director Charles Ryan and DOC Health Services Division Director Richard Pratt. Their email addys are: cryan@azcorrections.gov and rpratt@azcorrections.govThose are the guys whose desks the buck is supposed to stop at, anyway. The AZ DOC street address, for registered, return-receipt mail (better than certified, I'm told), is 1601 W. Jefferson St. PHX, AZ 85007. Make sure the prisoner you care about is following the grievance policy to the letter, but nothing stops you from hitting up those guys for help if corizon isn't doing their job - it will take less time to pressure them with your legislators in tow than it will to sue them into compliance.

You may also want to hit Corizon's compliance office if their help-line people at 1-855-276-5416, or InmateHealthInquiry@corizonhealth.com don't respond in a timely or approprite manner (preferably use email so you have a written record of all future exchanges with them). The Corizon compliance office email is compliance@corizonhealth.com

 I can usually be reached at arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com or 480-580-6807 if you nee dmore help than this - just keep in mind that I'm just a civilian - I'm certainly no lawyer.  I just believe in mutual aid and have figured out some ways to help prisoners and their families help themselves, so I'm willing to share. Please also feel free to contact me with your own stories and tips for survival for me to share with others, as well.

Good luck and take care.


---------------from Middle Ground Prison Reform-------------

Middle Ground Prison Reform
139 East Encanto Drive
Tempe, Arizona 85281
480 966-8116

Donna Leone Hamm
Executive Director
James J. Hamm
Director of Program and Advocacy Services

May 22, 2013

Mr. Charles Ryan, Director
Arizona Department of Corrections
1601 West Jefferson
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

In re: Serious Concerns/Contract Violations Corizon Healthcare

Dear Mr. Ryan:

As you know, I have many contacts within the Dept. of Corrections, both among the staff and the inmate population. It has recently come to my attention that there are serious concerns about the delivery of healthcare to inmates throughout the entire prison system as contracted with Corizon. In particular, there are special concerns about the treatment being afforded to mental health patients.

While my specific comments below are focused on conditions and practices at the Eyman Complex (which consists of SMU I and II, Meadows, Rynning, and Cook units), I strongly suspect that the same problems exist system-wide. Therefore, this letter is intended to address problems on a system-wide basis that are similar to the specific ones that I will mention in this letter regarding the Eyman Complex. It will not be acceptable to conduct an investigation into what is happening at the Eyman Complex; it is necessary to learn if the same problems and issues are taking place throughout all facilities under contract with Corizon.

As reported to me by reliable sources who have requested to remain anonymous, there is presently only one psychiatric nurse in the entire Eyman complex. As of April 30, 2013, the Eyman Complex housed over 5,100 prisoners. Prior to when Wexford took over the medical care for inmates, there were 4 to 5 such nurse positions at Eyman. The Wexford contract mandated that all inmates with Mental Health classification scores of Level 3 or above were required to be seen at least once/month by a Mental Health provider. Such provider could be an RN, a Psych Associate, a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrist appointments were scheduled every 3 months or sooner if deemed necessary through referral or via an inmate’s own HNR request.

This deliverable, under the present contract with Corizon, has been deleted and services are now set at the level of what the Department mandated of itself prior to Wexford, which is a Psychiatrist visit once every 6 months, and a Psych RN visit every 3 months. Notwithstanding the obvious implication that this deliverable was reduced in contract negotiations with Corizon simply to save money, it will be impossible for one Psychiatric Nurse to accomplish even every three months. Who will screen the HNR’s that refer to medications or negative side effects?

Apparently, Corizon functions in other states with no psychiatric nurses at all; instead, they allow regular medical nurses to assume those duties even though psychiatric nurses have special training to deal with psychiatric patients. RN’s without psychiatric training or experience cannot assess psychiatric symptoms.

At the Meadows Unit, and very likely at other units as well, nurse positions (medical nurses) are being slashed by Corizon. The staff at Meadows have been advised that they will have 2 nurses with 1 supervisor. The unit has, as of April 30, 2013, about 1,200 men, including an 80-bed CDU. On Meadows Unit, there are approximately 330 inmates who have MH scores of at least Level 3.

A supervisor, Nicole Bradfield, resigned about a week ago because she was working 60 hours/week at a salaried position (no overtime) and saw no reprieve to this schedule. There are apparently several LPN’s on the unit, but they are not qualified nor licensed to make assessments and must function under the supervision (on site) of an RN. As noted above, they cannot assess psychiatric symptoms due to lack of training and experience, not to mention not being qualified by licensing to do so.

The Meadows Unit has about 60 insulin dependent diabetics. Glucose tabs are now non-formulary and a paste has been substituted (to save money?) With the paste, it is much more difficult for the nurse to know how much to use to augment the sugar levels. Also, the unused paste is discarded after the package is opened. This would seem to be an expensive, waste.

Medical nurses are unable to complete their tasks and this directly and negatively affects patient care. Supervisors have been getting prescription renewals with verbal orders without readbacks.

A readback is essential to insure that the specific information communicated has been accurately understood. Noting orders are not being completed. Once orders are written, they have to be implemented. They have to be noted, sent to the pharmacy, etc. My sources advise that on one day recently there were three stacks of charts (total number unknown) that had been sitting on the desk for two days. The nurses have to make a decision about whether to do the nurse line or note the orders. On some days, there can be as many as 5 ICS’s. These emergency incidents obviously halt all other duties the nurses are doing in the health unit.

The Meadows Unit has a psychologist who does watches every morning at Browning Unit. This severely dilutes the time she is available for direct patient care or consultation.

It has been reported to me that the Meadows yard has many elderly patients who are medically compromised. New policies are issued by word-of-mouth. Outside consultations with specialist are not being scheduled. Suicides at the Eyman Complex seem to be increasing in frequency (1). The list goes on.

It is my understanding that there is an assigned Contract Monitor who is employed by ADOC whose job is to insure contract compliance. What is this person doing? Clearly, the Department must avoid similar problems to the ones you had with the Contract Monitor who utterly failed to do his job at the Kingman private prison facility, which ended in tragedy and enormous liability for the State of Arizona.

We are calling for a full-scale investigation/audit of the contract with Corizon. Audits need to be conducted of contract compliance in each unit of every prison where Corizon provides medical care. All prisoners have a well established constitutional right to the community standard of care for their serious medical needs. The Department has both a legal and ethical duty to provide mandated medical care.

I hope to hear from you that an investigation/audit will be ordered, and please consider this as a public records request, pursuant to A.R.S. 31-121 et seq., for any/all records you may have (written, electronic, audio, video, telephonic) or which you produce within the next 90 days which deal with Corizon’s contract compliance.

Your immediate attention will be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Donna Leone Hamm

Director

1. Within the last month, there have been three suicides at Eyman Complex (Joaquin Tamayo # 106163; Paul Henderson # 247636 and Milo Stanley # 064794) which lend credibility to the fact that mental health care is wholly inadequate.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Occupy Phoenix and Arizona's Police State: Center for Media and Democracy Report released.

This kind of policing by the rich and powerful is one of the very things we all objected to at Occupy PHX. Thank you Beau Hodai and the Center for Media and Democracy for exposing this tremendous misappropriation of our communities' resources. I'll have more to say once I read the full report....

PHX PD riot cop motorcycles at an Occupy Phoenix protest of Freeport MacMoran, February 2012. 
Chalk art and digitally rendered image by suspected anarchist/possible terrorist Margaret J Plews.


----from PR WATCH  at the Center for Media and Democracy-----

 

Dissent or Terror: How Arizona's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate Interests, Turned on Occupy Phoenix




The following is the first in a series of articles extracted from a new report by CMD and DBA Press entitled "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With
 Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street."

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a nationwide "counter terrorism" apparatus emerged. Components of this apparatus include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), ODNI's "National Counterterrorism Center" (NCTC), and state/regional "fusion centers."

"Fusion centers," by and large, are staffed with personnel working in "counter terrorism"/ "homeland security" units of municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/"public safety"/"counter terrorism" agencies. To a large degree, the "counter terrorism" operations of municipal, county, state and tribal agencies engaged in "fusion centers" are financed through a number of U.S. DHS grant programs.

Initially, "fusion centers" were intended to be intelligence sharing partnerships between municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/"counter terrorism" agencies, dedicated solely to the dissemination/sharing of "terrorism"-related intelligence. However, shortly following the creation of "fusion centers," their focus shifted from this exclusive interest in "terrorism," to one of "all hazards" -- an umbrella term used to describe virtually anything (including "terrorism") that may be deemed a "hazard" to the public, or to certain private sector interests. And, as has been mandated through a series of federal legislative actions and presidential executive orders, "fusion centers" (and the "counter terrorism" entities that they are comprised of) work -- in ever closer proximity -- with private corporations, with the stated aim of protecting items deemed to be "critical infrastructure/key resources" (CI/KR, typically thought of as items such as power plants, dams or weapons manufacturing plants).

As detailed in a report from DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD), "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," through 2011 and 2012, "fusion centers" and other "counter terrorism" agencies engaged in widespread monitoring of Occupy Wall Street activists.

Records obtained by DBA/CMD indicate that, in some instances, these "counter terrorism" agencies worked in partnership with corporate interests to gather and disseminate intelligence relating to the activities of citizens engaged in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Ironically, records indicate that corporate entities engaged in such public-private intelligence sharing partnerships were often the very same corporate entities criticized, and protested against, by the Occupy Wall Street movement as having undue influence in the functions of public government.

This article examines the effects of such public-private intelligence sharing partnerships in Arizona, and how such partnerships benefited corporate interests that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest actions through 2011 and 2012.

Arizona Fusion Center Work on Behalf of Banks

Occupy Phoenix protestors 10/15/11Occupy Phoenix protestors 10/15/11 (Photo:MarlowSharpe.com)In October of 2011, Jamie Dimon, president and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, had plans to travel to Phoenix for a "town hall" event with 2,000 of his employees at Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, located in downtown Phoenix). As Dimon is one of the most powerful men on Wall Street and the head of the largest bank in the country -- a bank that played a key role in the collapse of the U.S. economy in 2008 -- JP Morgan Chase Regional Security Manager Dan Grady contacted Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center personnel on October 17 (the day before Dimon's scheduled visit), to ensure a smooth landing for Dimon in Phoenix.

The Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC), commonly known as the "Arizona Fusion Center," is comprised of personnel from such entities as the Arizona Department of Public Safety Intelligence Bureau, the Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau, the Tempe Police Department Homeland Defense Unit, the Mesa Police Department Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Unit, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the FBI Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. DHS offices of Infrastructure Protection and Intelligence and Analysis.

Records indicate that Grady's chief point of law enforcement/"counter terrorism" personnel contact in Phoenix -- with whom he discussed the particulars of Dimon's visit and shared a detailed itinerary -- was Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau (PPDHDB) Detective, and ACTIC Community Liaison Program Coordinator, Jennifer O'Neill. As records indicate, the chief area of discussion between Grady and O'Neill were concerns that citizens engaged in Occupy Phoenix, an Occupy Wall Street-inspired group that had launched only days prior, on October 14 and 15, might try to disrupt the event -- or otherwise inconvenience Dimon.

According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, in response to Grady's concerns, O'Neill stated that she and a PPDHDB "CI/KR security specialist" colleague had engaged in the monitoring of known online “social networking” outlets used by Occupy Phoenix for discussion relating to the Dimon visit. As such O'Neill stated: “we have not seen anything on social networking that leads us to believe protestors are aware of this event."

By no stretch of the imagination was this monitoring of social media (known in the world of "counter terrorism" agencies as the acquisition of "open source intelligence") for the benefit of JP Morgan Chase President and CEO Dimon the full extent of such activity conducted by ACTIC personnel. Records indicate that ACTIC personnel consistently gathered "open source," and other, intelligence relating to Occupy Phoenix protests of corporate entities throughout 2011 and 2012. According to these records, in many instances ACTIC personnel would share this intelligence with personnel employed by corporations who were subject to these protests.

Another example of Occupy Phoenix-related ACTIC CLP work for the benefit of banks would be intelligence gathering and other monitoring conducted in preparation for "Bank Transfer Day," November 5, 2011 -- a day on which Occupy Wall Street groups nationwide, along with other mainstream activist/consumer advocate groups, encouraged citizens to discontinue business with the nation's leading banks (such as J.P. Morgan Chase banks, Bank of America and Wells Fargo), in favor of credit unions and smaller community-based banks.

Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that, on November 3, Mesa Police Department (Mesa is a Phoenix suburb) Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Unit Detective/ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Christopher Adamczyk, issued an OWS-related bulletin to a number of ACTIC TLOs/analysts. While the actual Adamczyk bulletin is absent from records delivered to DBA/CMD by PPDHDB, records indicate that the subject of this Adamczyk bulletin was the impending November 5 "Bank Transfer Day." It is important to note, however, that available records indicate that the Mesa TLO did not address "Bank Transfer Day" events set to take place in the Phoenix area.

Records show that, after receiving this bulletin, O'Neill contacted PPDHDB/ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Brenda Dowhan and asked if there was any specific information she could pass on to downtown Phoenix banks.

In response to O'Neill's request, Dowhan indicated that she would try to find "FOUO" ("For Official Use Only") information that could be released to downtown Phoenix banks. In addition, she offered:
"Occupy Phoenix just updated their [Facebook] page saying that they will be marching to Wells Fargo, B of A [Bank of America], and Chase Tower. They are supposed to do a 'credit card shredding ceremony' , but eh haven't identified which bank they will be doing that at [sic]. We will have to monitor their FB [Facebook]."

As previously stated, O’Neill is the coordinator of the ACTIC Community Liaison Program (CLP). ACTIC CLP was created in 2006, in response to federal mandates calling for greater involvement of private sector corporations in the national "counter terrorism" "information sharing environment" (ISE, as created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This piece of federal legislation also created ODNI, NCTC and set the groundwork for the national spread of "fusion centers," per the implementation of ISE).

ACTIC CLP is intended to facilitate the flow of "counter terrorism" information/intelligence between private sector corporate partners and the Arizona "fusion center." While the stated purpose of ACTIC CLP is to prevent terrorist activity, to identify terrorist threats, protect CI/KR, and “create an awareness of localized security issues, challenges, and business interdependencies,” records indicate that, during the course of 2011 and 2012, ACTIC CLP was used as an advance warning system to alert member corporations and banks of impending Occupy Phoenix protests.

ACTIC CLP is one of two primary vehicles through which corporate interests partner with ACTIC, the other vehicle being Arizona Infragard. Arizona Infragard is the Arizona chapter of Infragard, a public-private intelligence sharing partnership administered by the FBI and supported (both financially and through the delivery of intelligence) by U.S. DHS.

The Creepy Guy Cometh: Undercover Cop Goes to the Vegan Coffee Shop

Creepy Guy"Saul DeLara"s Facebook Profile Picture 10/10/11Records indicate that these advance warnings concerning the planned actions of Occupy Phoenix, and other instances of intelligence sharing with private sector partners (including meetings between law enforcement/"counter terrorism" personnel and area bankers), were derived from the constant monitoring of Occupy Phoenix -- and other activist groups -- by Phoenix area law enforcement personnel, most of whom were "terrorism liaison officers" active in the ACTIC TLO Program.

While much of this TLO-gathered information came in the form of "open source intelligence" derived from the monitoring of social media, one source of intelligence that records show greatly benefitted not only ACTIC "counter terrorism" personnel, but also ACTIC's private sector partners, was an undercover Phoenix Police Department Major Offenders Bureau (PPDMOB) detective who had infiltrated the Phoenix activist community and who had attended some of the earliest Occupy Phoenix planning meetings, as well as subsequent meetings throughout October and November, 2011.

This infiltrating undercover officer presented himself as a homeless Mexican national named "Saul DeLara" (Saul). One example of this undercover officer's work product is as follows: following a request by Phoenix Police Department Community Relations Bureau (PPDCRB, the departmental entity that served as the public face of PPD interaction with Occupy Phoenix -- known, affectionately, by members of the Phoenix activist community as the "Red Squad") Sgt. Mark Schweikert, PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Tom Van Dorn dispatched Saul to attend an early Occupy Phoenix planning meeting held on October 2, 2011 at a local coffee shop. Following the meeting, Saul delivered a detailed report, dutifully relaying all plans the activists had discussed, to his PPD superiors. And records indicate that Van Dorn recommended at this time that PPD units augment the intelligence stream provided by Saul with constant monitoring of the Occupy Phoenix Facebook page.

But, Saul's attendance at and reporting on the October 2, 2011 Occupy Phoenix planning meeting was far from the extent of the undercover detective's involvement in the world of Phoenix activism. For example, records indicate that Saul had embedded himself among Phoenix activists in Occupy Phoenix's encampment at Cesar Chavez Plaza, in an attempt at providing further intelligence relating to activist "Bank Transfer Day" plans.

As stated in a November 3, 2011 email, PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Van Dorn informed PPDHDB commanding officers that, "Saul will be spending today and tomorrow hanging out in the Plaza and [sic] with the Anarchists to try and gather additional intelligence as we head into the weekend."
Interestingly, Saul's first appearance among Phoenix activists is said to significantly predate the birth of Occupy Phoenix (which officially launched over the course of a two day event, held October 14 and 15, 2011) and even the emergence of the national Occupy Wall Street movement (which materialized on September 17, 2011).

According to then-Phoenix activist Ian Fecke-Stoudt (Fecke-Stoudt has since moved out of the Phoenix area), Saul first appeared at Conspire, a now-defunct coffee house and vegan cafe located in downtown Phoenix, in July of 2011.

Poetically enough, Conspire was awarded the title of "Best Hangout for Anarchists, Revolutionaries and Dreamers" by the Phoenix New Times in 2010. The coffee house also served, later in 2011 and early 2012, as a regular meeting place for members of Occupy Phoenix.

According to Fecke-Stoudt, Saul's appearance roughly coincided with the beginning of activist meetings, held at Conspire, dedicated to the planning of protest events associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) States and Nation Policy Summit (SNPS), to be held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, from November 28 through December 2, 2011.

ALEC is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that bills itself as the nation's largest state "legislative membership organization." As such, ALEC claims roughly 2,000, or approximately one third, of the nation's state lawmakers as members. The organization couples these legislative members on a variety of "task forces" with representatives from the nation's leading corporations, lobby and law firms, as well as private 'think tanks' and 'public policy foundations.' These various "task forces" generate and adopt "model legislation," which member lawmakers dutifully introduce and work to pass into law in their home assemblies.
Representatives of corporations and private foundations involved in ALEC are known as the organization's "private sector members." As is reflected by the organization's tax filings, these private sector members fund most of ALEC's activities. As such, ALEC is in reality the nation's largest public-private legislative partnership, dedicated to advancing the legislative agenda of its corporate underwriters -- though ALEC has steadfastly denied that any lobbying activity takes place at their events.

ALEC holds three primary events each year: the Spring Task Force Summit, the Annual Meeting and the States and Nation Policy Summit. Invariably, these events are held at upscale resorts in cites throughout the nation. Travel and boarding expenses for ALEC member lawmakers who attend these meetings are more often than not paid through the ALEC "scholarship fund," a fund for which ALEC member lawmakers and ALEC member lobbyists raise (tax deductible) donations from other lobbyists/private sector donors.

The organization has come under fire in recent years for its involvement in disseminating various pieces of "model legislation" and policy initiatives -- from "voter ID" laws, to laws aimed at crushing unions, as well as firearms-related laws (such as the "Stand Your Ground" law, which gained national attention following the February, 2012 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin).

But, before the rise of public furor surrounding such pieces of "model legislation," ALEC came under criticism for its involvement in disseminating the "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act," a piece of "model legislation" introduced to the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force (ALEC claims it disbanded this task force in April of 2012) by then-Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce during the ALEC December, 2009 SNPS (a month and a half prior to Pearce's introduction of the same bill, SB 1070, in the Arizona legislature).

The crux of criticism relating to ALEC's role in adopting and disseminating this piece of "model legislation" was the fact that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation's premier operator of for-profit prisons and immigrant detention facilities, was a longstanding member -- and corporate underwriter -- of the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force at the time of the "model legislation"'s adoption. Various records obtained by DBA/CMD show that the nation's second largest private prison/immigrant detention center operator, Geo Group, was also active in ALEC during this time (Arizona lobby records indicate that Geo Group lobbyists were wining and dining lawmakers at the 2009 ALEC SNPS), along with the nation's third largest private prison/immigration detention center operator, Management and Training Company (MTC, records obtained by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy indicate that MTC was paying into the ALEC Arizona Scholarship Fund as late as August of 2010).

And so, when Phoenix-area activists learned of ALEC's plans (Fecke-Stoudt estimates that Phoenix activists first learned of these plans in June of 2011) a coalition of activist groups -- including prison reform activists, anarchists, immigrants' rights groups and indigenous rights groups -- began planning protest actions at Conspire.

According to Fecke-Stoudt, at some point in early to mid-July, 2011, his roommate -- also a Phoenix-area activist -- mentioned that "a creepy guy who looked like he was probably a cop" had been hanging around Conspire. According to Fecke-Stoudt, his roommate told him that the "creepy guy" had wandered into Conspire and struck up a conversation with her. The roommate said that, following this initial conversation, the man would appear at Conspire and seek her out -- as if they were friends. According to Feck-Stoudt's recollection of the roommate's impression, the "creepy guy" had come off as being "overly interested in anarchism."

It was not long after that Fecke-Stoudt was also approached by the "creepy guy" at Conspire. According to Fecke-Stoudt, the man wore a blue t-shirt and blue jeans, had slicked-back salt-and-pepper hair, appeared to be in his 50s, was very clean-cut and in good physical shape. The "creepy guy" introduced himself to Fecke-Stoudt and other Phoenix activists as "Saul DeLara." Despite the man's fit and clean appearance, Fecke-Stoudt said Saul claimed to be homeless -- and commented frequently on trouble he had with police through the course of his life on the street. Saul claimed to be a native of Juarez, Mexico, but seldom disclosed any other details of his background or personal life.

It is worth noting that Saul would later offer one other interesting detail of his life. As reported by activists present at a November 9, 2011, ALEC protest planning meeting, Saul claimed to have ties to recent "anarchist" actions in Mexico. This appears to have been an oblique reference to a group calling themselves "Mexican Fire Cells Conspiracy/Informal Anarchist Federation," which, through a number of anarchists online forums, had claimed responsibility for a fire at Las Torres Shopping Mall in Juarez on November 2.

"Saul DeLara" on right"Saul DeLara" posing as an anarchist (pixelation added) 10/15/11 (Source: Facebook)According to Fecke Stoudt and other activists interviewed by DBA/CMD, Saul consistently expressed a voracious interest in all things related to anarchism. Perhaps the only area of conversation that stimulated Saul's interest as much as general discussion of anarchism, said Fecke-Stoudt and other activists interviewed by DBA/CMD, was discussion of the pending ALEC SNPS protest.

According to Fecke-Stoudt, Saul commenced to appear at Conspire on nights when the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition (PAC) would hold meetings. It was during one of these occasions that Fecke-Stoudt detected a particularly odd pattern of behavior on Saul's part.

"There's a certain thing that people do, when you can tell they're interested in something, but they're trying not to talk about it -- where, whenever they hear, like, even the slightest mention of that thing, they come running over and they start listening intently, or, like, they'll just kind of slowly put themselves into the conversation -- that's what he did," said Fecke-Stoudt.

This behavior on Saul's part, explained Fecke-Stoudt, would occur whenever mention was made of the planned ALEC protest.

"Once, after a PAC meeting [...] he was hanging about and somebody said something about ALEC and, you know, he just kind of suddenly appeared in the conversation," said Fecke-Stoudt. "I didn't see it happen at that time, because I was engaged in the conversation, but I'm like, all of a sudden, 'there's Saul. Why is Saul in this conversation all of a sudden?'"

It is important to note that, according to both activists' accounts and records obtained by DBA/CMD, Saul did not only attend anarchist protest planning meetings. Throughout his time as an activist infiltrator, Saul rubbed elbows with members of Occupy Phoenix, immigrants' rights groups, faith-based organizations, indigenous rights groups, and others.

Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that Saul would report on these ALEC protest planning meetings to Van Dorn, who would then forward the intelligence on to PPDHDB personnel.

For example, on October 26, 2011, Van Dorn sent the following email to PPDHDB Lt. Lawrence "Larry" Hein, PPDHDB Sgt. Pat "Patrick" Kotecki and PPDMOB Lt. John Geroulis:

"Hey Bosses," wrote Van Dorn. "Saul has stated that the Anarchists have officially posted the 'resist ALEC' on their website but they haven't discussed specifics on how to disrupt the conference [sic]. There are also two websites that might be worth the TLO's [ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison Officers"] monitoring."

Van Dorn then went on to provide a link to "azresistsalec.wordpress.com," and to detail the number of "likes" on the Facebook page associated with that site.

"According to Saul they are supposed to be having 'resist ALEC' training this weekend in downtown Phoenix as well," added Van Dorn. "Kepp you updated [sic]."

Records indicate that PPDHDB Sgt. Kotecki forwarded this intelligence on to PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Rohme with instructions to "monitor and advise."

Records obtained by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy show that PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Van Dorn and a PPDMOB undercover detective named Saul Ayala attended two meetings (November 18 and 23, 2011), held in the ACTIC "training room." The subject of both these meetings was planned protests of the ALEC conference.

Interestingly enough, records indicate that PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Michael Rohme had invited Westin Kierland Director of Security Phil Black to attend the November 23 ACTIC meeting. According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, Rohme had been the chief ACTIC point of contact between ALEC personnel in the months leading up to the 2011 SNPS. Such ALEC-related personnel Rohme had shared ACTIC resources/information with included Bayer Healthcare Head of Security Mark Davis. Bayer Healthcare is a longtime ALEC private sector member and had served as co-chair of the ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force for several years, ending in 2011. At the time of the ALEC 2011 SNPS, Bayer Healthcare's parent corporation, Bayer Corporation, served as "first vice chairman" of the ALEC Private Enterprise Board Executive Committee.

And, speaking to the private sector clout carried by ALEC in the world of "counter terrorism" public-private intelligence sharing partnerships, consider this: Arizona Public Service/Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (APS) served as a "chairman" level sponsor of the 2011 ALEC SNPS. The chairman of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP, an economic development corporation whose members are clearly active in ACTIC CLP) Board of Directors is APS/Pinnacle West President and CEO Donald Brandt. APS Enterprise Security Operations Director Bob Parrish served as longtime board member of Arizona Infragard at this time as well.

Furthermore, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that, in February of 2012, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor Christine Figueroa forwarded open source intelligence (derived from activist Facebook postings and the Occupy Phoenix events calendar) pertaining to planned February 29, 2012 protests of ALEC-member corporations (a nationwide effort launched by Occupy Portland, Oregon) to ACTIC personnel (including O'Neill) and other U.S. DHS personnel.

According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, the information distributed by Figueroa had been gathered by Salt River Project (SRP) Security Manager Jay Spradling. This Spradling advisory reiterated activist plans (as posted on the Occupy Phoenix events calendar) to "march from [Freeport-McMoran Center, worldwide headquarters of Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold, Inc.] to other ALEC corporations downtown. Send them a message that we won't stand for the corporate takeover of our democracy any longer," and to (as stated on the Occupy Phoenix Facebook page) hold a press conference for the purpose of "informing people about what ALEC is and why they are bad!” Records show that this information was then passed on, through PPDCRB Sgt. Schweikert, to Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold Manager of Corporate Security Thomas Tyo.

At the time of the F-29 protests SRP lobbyist Russell Smoldon served as the ALEC Arizona "private sector chair" (largely responsible for ALEC Arizona "scholarship fund" fundraising) and Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold served as a "director" level sponsor of the 2011 ALEC SNPS. Freeport-McMoran is also active in ACTIC CLP through its position on the Downtown Phoenix Partnership Board of Directors.

As indicated by records obtained by DBA/CMD, as well as accounts of activists interviewed, Saul's participation in ALEC protest planning meetings ended on November 9, 2011. The PPDMOB undercover detective attended an ALEC protest planning meeting that evening, after which an immigrants' rights activist approached Saul and confronted him about his life as a cop.

According to the activist (who spoke to DBA/CMD on condition of anonymity), she had worked as a barista at a Phoenix Starbucks some years prior. During her time as a barista, the woman and her co-workers had become accustomed to the habits of two police officers who would come into the cafe to order drinks every night, while the cafe was closing. Rather than leaving coffee machines on and uncleaned, the cafe workers would set drinks aside for these two officers. One of these officers, said the activist, was the man who currently represented himself as the homeless anarchist wannabe, "Saul DeLara."

According to this activist, when confronted, Saul denied having ever seen her before and angrily denied being a cop. Nevertheless, word of Saul's possible relationship with law enforcement spread quickly through the Phoenix activist community and, as indicated by records obtained by DBA/CMD, details of this November 9 meeting were the last to be gathered by Saul and relayed through Van Dorn to PPDHDB/ACTIC personnel.

PPD Public Information Officer Trent Crump declined to confirm whether PPDMOB undercover detective Saul Ayala was in fact the man who presented himself to Phoenix activists as "Saul DeLara," or to discuss any specifics of PPD undercover officer activity related to Occupy Phoenix or other Phoenix activist groups. However, Crump did state that it is a "regular practice" of PPD to employ "plainclothes or undercover" officers in the gathering of intelligence related to activist activity that may include "civil disobedience."
When asked what suspicion of criminal activity PPD used to predicate such intelligence gathering conducted by undercover officers, Crump stated:
"I don't even think that one has to say that we have to anticipate that there's going to be criminal activity for us to gather intelligence -- public safety is one of our job responsibilities. So, when we know they're going to have, very possibly, some civil unrest, or we know we may have large groups of people organizing to rally under a protest -- or whatever you want to call it -- we gather intelligence on this, absolutely."

Brenda the "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Facebook Queen

Occupy Phoenix protestors 10/15/11Occupy Phoenix protestors 10/15/11 (Photo: MarlowSharpe.com)According to records obtained by DBA/CMD from the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS, the state agency that essentially acts as a bursar for U.S. DHS Arizona grant awards), PPD was awarded $1,016,897 in U.S. DHS State Homeland Security Grant Program funding in September of 2010 for the PPD "ACTIC Intelligence Analyst Project." According to these AZDOHS records, these funds were intended to fill positions for both a PPD "ACTIC Intelligence Analyst" and "IT Planner." Records obtained by DBA/CMD indicate that these project funds have been used, in part, to hire and pay the more than $71,000 compensation (this figure includes salary and benefits) of PPDHDB/ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Brenda Dowhan.

According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, Dowhan's primary role at ACTIC over the course of 2011 (according to records, Dowhan appears to have been hired in July of 2011) and 2012 appears to have been the monitoring of social media activity associated with individuals involved in Occupy Phoenix -- as well as to create bulletins for distribution to both ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison Officers" and other "fusion center" personnel nationwide, detailing trends in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, in order to facilitate Dowhan's work PPD personnel regularly fed the "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" logs containing the names, addresses, social security numbers, driver's license/state identification numbers, and physical descriptions of citizens arrested, issued citations -- or even given "warnings" by police -- in connection with Occupy Phoenix. The vast majority of these citizens who had been arrested, or had other interactions with PPD, were cited/warned for alleged violations of the city's "urban camping" ordinance.

Records indicate that Dowhan took her job very seriously. Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that when, in December of 2011, two members of Occupy Phoenix posted plans to travel to Flagstaff for Christmas, Dowhan alerted ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officers in the Flagstaff area to their impending arrival.

And, records show that, in November, 2011, when Dowhan first became concerned that those she surveilled within the Phoenix activist community may eventually detect her presence online, she asked her PPDHDB superiors if they could discuss the possibility of her using a "clean computer," possibly one with an "anonymizer," in the future. This appears to have been a reference to a computer utility product, made by Anonymizer, Inc., that allows users to visit websites anonymously.

In fact, Dowhan was so dedicated to her job of monitoring the Facebook posts (and other social media/blogs) of members of Occupy Phoenix that, when, on December 16, 2011, FBI agent Alan McHugh contacted ACTIC/Arizona Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) personnel (including FBI Phoenix JTTF Special Agent Marcus Williams and U.S. DHS Intelligence Analyst Anthony Frangipane) to advise them of a planned December 17 Occupy Phoenix protest to be held outside the Phoenix office of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA 2012), ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan giddily responded:

"Good Morning Alan [sic] [paragraph break] Tracking the activities of Occupy Phoenix is one of my daily responsibilities. My primary role is to look at the social media, websites, and blogs. I just wanted to put it out there so that if you would like me to share with you or you have something to share, we can collaborate [sic]."

Dowhan went on to state that ACTIC/PPDHDB was also concerned about the NDAA 2012 protest (dubbed by Occupy Phoenix the "No Indefinite Detention Rally") as well as other Occupy Phoenix events planned for coming days. In closing, Dowhan stated that she would continue to "monitor online activities to get an idea of what kind of participation we can expect."

This glimpse into the day-to-day working life of those in the "counter terrorism" world is, of course, hilariously ironic, since citizens protesting NDAA 2012 were protesting provisions of the law that would allow for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who are even suspected of aiding, committing, or plotting acts of terrorism, "hostilities," or any other "belligerent acts" against the nation.

However, perhaps a much less humorous side of this reality is illustrated in an October, 2011 advisory sent out to "fusion center"/"counter terrorism" personnel nationwide by Transportation Security Administration (TSA, a component of U.S. DHS) Office of Intelligence Field Intelligence Officer Larry Tortorich. In this advisory, focused on a planned October 6 Occupy New Orleans march, Tortorich opined: "the potential always exists for extremists to exploit or redirect events such as this or use the event to escalate or trigger their own agendas. [...] Jihadists recently discussed how they can benefit from the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been ongoing in New York City, and suggested 'that their continuation will make the enemy lose focus on the wars abroad.'" [It is not known what "Jihadists" Tortorich referenced.]

It is also worth noting that, according to records obtained by DBA/CMD, when President Barack Obama visited the Phoenix area in January of 2012, ACTIC personnel monitored associated NDAA 2012 protests. Furthermore records indicate that the U.S. Capitol Police Office of Intelligence Analysis (working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) had monitored Arizona protest activity aimed at NDAA 2012 in February of 2012.

Occupy Phoenix protestor 5/1/12Occupy Phoenix protestor 5/1/12 (Photo: Ray Otter)In any event, let's get back to Dowhan. While records obtained by DBA/CMD do show that Dowhan spent tremendous amounts of time trolling the Facebook pages of citizens engaged in Occupy Phoenix, as well as other Occupy Wall Street and activist groups, during 2011 and 2012, the mere culling of "open source intelligence" was not the extent of Dowhan's U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded activities.
Records obtained by DBA/CMD show multiple instances in which Dowhan attempted to identify citizens believed to be active in the Occupy Phoenix/Occupy Wall Street movement (though not believed to have committed any crime -- other than an allegation of marijuana use, as discussed below) through the use of biometric data analysis applied to photos found on Facebook.

One example of the use of this facial recognition technology is as follows:
On November 18, 2011, ACTIC received information pertaining to an individual reported to be involved with Occupy Phoenix. This information came in the form of an anonymous tip submitted to ACTIC personnel through the Silent Witness "web tip" program (a service provided to ACTIC personnel by The Silent Witness, Inc., a private non profit corporation).

The anonymous tip stated:
"Met an Occupy nut online, she says she's from your area [...] She appears to be involved with some sort of violent organization. Has expressed intent to 'take down the local power structure,' desire to be killed in violent resistance as a martyr: 'GOOD KILL US. That will really make people mad!'"
The anonymous "tipster" (records identified the source of this information as being "Web Tipster," and Dowhan subsequently referred to the informant as "the tipster") then went on to state that the "Occupy nut" "[had] indicated knowledge of specific plans for violent revolt, knowledge of bomb-related activities. When pressed further was reticent, claimed she did not want to give more details on the plans due to 'outstanding warrants and paranoia'. [sic]"

In closing, the "tipster" wrote:
"Additionally, since I'm aware no crime has technically been committed there (apart for whatever the warrants are for), I've got an actual crime for you as well: illegal possession/use of marijuana, I've seen her smoking it on camera. I will attempt to get a picture in the future. [Paragraph break] I'm well aware that the threat of violence sounds like someone yanking my chain, and it quite possibly is, but she sounds serious about this and I feel it's better to falsely report than to not report an actual threat."
The anonymous "tipster" then went on to identify the "Occupy nut" as being a 20-year-old female known as "Amber." The tipster stated that the young woman was unemployed and living with her twin sister and father. The tipster also provided ACTIC personnel with a photograph of what appears to be a teen-aged girl wearing eye glasses seated in front of a computer (the photo appears to have been taken by a monitor-mounted camera).

ACTIC PPDHD "Terrorism Liason All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan immediately followed up on this tip on November 18, 2011, by distributing information contained in the anonymous tip to PPDHDB personnel.
In a December 23 email from Dowhan to PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Christopher "CJ" Wren, PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Rohme and PPDHDB Det. Robert Bolvin, Dowhan stated that she had attempted to identify "Amber" through the use of facial recognition technology, but that the attempt had failed.
"We have a Facebook photo and tried to do facial recognition, but she was wearing glasses," wrote Dowhan in the December 23 email.

The facial recognition resources that Dowhan utilized in her efforts to identify individuals believed to be associated with Occupy Wall Street groups are provided through the ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit, a unit housed within ACTIC and operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).

According to records obtained from the Arizona Department of Homeland Security by DBA/CMD, the ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit has the ability to match biometric data contained in photographs -- such as those found on Facebook -- with biometric data contained in roughly 18 million Arizona Driver's License photos, 4.7 million Arizona county/municipal jail "booking" photos, 12,000 photos contained in the "Arizona Sex Offender Database," and 2 million photos available through the Federal Joint Automated Booking System.

The ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit, according to these AZDOHS records, also has the ability to utilize "portable units" during "special events." And, according to AZDOHS records, MCSO has requested additional U.S. DHS funding in order to purchase additional "facial recognition video capture" technologies.
The ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit currently utilizes technology and services purchased from Hummingbird Defense Systems, Inc. (HDSI, a Nevada corporation allegedly headquartered in Phoenix, but which has had its status as an active corporation revoked in both Nevada and Arizona since at least 2008). HDSI purports to have partnered with Detaq Solutions in 2002 in the development of a biometric surveillance system for the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Part of this system, according to HDSI, was a "centralized biometric database [...] that was deployed to help secure Tiananmen Square." As such, HDSI boasts that this system "was awarded 'National Technology Treasure' status by the Ministry of Public Security of China."

Tiananmen Square was, of course, the site of the massacre of hundreds of peaceful Chinese student protestors by People's Republic of China armed forces on June 4, 1989. The students, demanding government reform, had occupied the square for weeks prior to the massacre. The site, and the "June 4 Massacre," have remained significant rallying points to government reform activists in China.

All Actors in Play: the Facebook Queen, the Creepy Guy, Public-Private Partnerships, and Paid Cops

Phoenix Police before arrests 11/30/11Phoenix Police before arrests 11/30/11 (Photo: Ezra Kaplan)
Occupy Phoenix was not a large operation. Despite a relatively large turnout during the group's inaugural march on October 15, 2011 (which peaked at about 1,000 participants), the Occupy Phoenix encampment in Cesar Chavez Plaza typically saw fewer than 50 "occupiers." So, given the galvanizing force offered in opposition to ALEC throughout the spectrum of the Phoenix activist community, protests of the 2011 ALEC SNPS were, by far, the most well-attended Occupy Phoenix protest events to take place during 2011 or 2012, aside from the initial October 15, 2011 march.

The largest of these protests was held on the morning of the first full day of the conference, November 30, outside the Westin Kierland's east gate. Protestors, numbering in the hundreds, marched to the gate as ALEC member lawmakers, lobbyists, corporate executives, and right-wing 'think tank' luminaries were ushered into the resort through security check points. Arizona Governor Brewer was to be the keynote speaker at the day's ALEC luncheon, held in one of the Kierland's many grand dining rooms.

At about 9:40 a.m., an incident took place between protestors and riot gear-clad PPD "mobile field force" officers who had established a "tactical response unit" (TRU) outside the Kierland's eastern gate. All told, five protestors were arrested on charges of trespassing and "crossing a police line" during this incident.
Following the arrests, PPD officials told local media that officers had been attacked by wild-eyed "anarchists" brandishing "nail filled sticks" and that these "anarchists" had attempted to overthrow police barricades with metal poles. These attacks, according to PPD officials parroted in media accounts, had "forced" officers to deploy amounts of oleoresin capsicum ("OC") spray into the crowd and make the five arrests.

Interestingly, this PPD version of events, wherein officers were provoked by violent "anarchists" with "nail filled sticks," seems to have little semblance to reality.

The following version of events that took place outside the east gate of the Westin Kierland, at approximately 9:40 a.m., November 30, 2011, is based on video evidence that resulted in the dismissal of charges against one of the activists arrested, as well as photographs and police records obtained from PPDHDB/PPD by DBA/CMD:

At approximately 9:40 a.m., several PPD officers (many of whom did not wear any identification, in violation of departmental policy), deployed as part of a TRU, were met by a group of protestors who had marched to the eastern entrance of the resort and stopped approximately 50 feet from a barrier line established by TRU officers. Protestors at the front of the group held a large banner. Behind these protestors were a number of other protestors. Some of these other protestors held signs, and some played marching band music on musical instruments. The crowd of protestors, contrary to PPD accounts, was not composed entirely, or mostly, of "anarchists." Present at this protest were members of Occupy Phoenix, members of several immigrants' rights groups, members of indigenous rights groups, members of faith-based groups, concerned citizens, as well as a small group of individuals who described themselves as being "anarchists."

The protest group having stopped well outside the established police barricade line, four protestors moved to the front of the large banner at the head of the procession and sat passively on the ground -- remaining several (approximately 30 to 40) feet from the police barricades.

Pepper-sprayed at ALEC protestPepper-sprayed at ALEC protest (Photo: Jack Kurtz)
Shortly after these four protestors had seated themselves, several TRU officers picked up a metal barricade, carried it over to where the protestors sat, and pushed the barricade down on top of them, as if to crush the protestors. At this point, another protestor, Ezra Kaplan, a member of the Occupy Phoenix media group, walked over to where the police were pushing the barricade down on protestors and started taking pictures with his camera. The TRU officers then lifted the metal barricade over the seated protestors and shoved it directly into the banner, pinning the cameraman between the police line and the banner. Protestors then began to shout: "we're non-violent," at which point the four seated protestors and Kaplan were grabbed by officers, rushed onto resort property and arrested on charges of "crossing a police line" and trespassing. At this point, TRU officer PPD Violent Crimes Bureau Gang Enforcement Unit Detective Gregory Liebertz, reached into the crowd, grabbed the banner and began spraying protestors with OC spray. This officer was joined by several other officers in pulling, tearing, and eventually stomping the banner. Simultaneously, several other officers also deployed OC spray on the protestors. With the onset of this police aggression, the protestors temporarily disbanded and retreated.

At no point does this video footage show any sign of crazed "anarchists" (or any other protestor) swinging "nail filled sticks" at officers, or of "anarchists" (or other protestors) attempting to overturn police barricades.

In reality, the TRU/"mobile field force" officers had been working under the command of PPD Sgt. Eric Harkins. According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, at the time of this incident Harkins was actually off-duty, earning $35 per hour as a private security guard employed by ALEC, under the direction of Westin Kierland Director of Security Phil Black. Records show that, by the time SNPS ended, Harkins had earned $630 for security services rendered to ALEC and Westin Kierland during November 30 and December 1.

Harkins wasn't alone in this paid service to ALEC/Westin Kierland. Records indicate that ALEC/Westin Kierland had hired 49 active duty and 9 retired PPD officers to act as private security during the conference.
 All told, ALEC/Westin Kierland paid out a total of $36,015 in "off-duty" pay to these officers.

[Note: records obtained by DBA/CMD relating to this off-duty job detail clearly state that the "client company" for this event was ALEC. As previously discussed, other records obtained by DBA/CMD show that Westin Kierland Director of Security Black, clearly working for the benefit of ALEC, had coordinated closely with both ALEC personnel and PPDHDB/ACTIC personnel in preparation for this event.]
It is not known how many of these off-duty PPD officers working as private security for the ALEC conference were involved in the TRU/"mobile field force" incident at the Westin Kierland east gate, but it is known that Harkins and another off-duty officer working as private ALEC/Kierland security, Eric Carpenter (paid a total of $630 by ALEC/Kierland for services rendered), personally arrested the Occupy Phoenix photographer, Ezra Kaplan. Furthermore, Officer Carpenter's report of the incident (actually filed as the joint report of both Harkins and Carpenter) explicitly states that Sgt. Harkins had "advised nearby officers to place [the four seated protestors] under arrest."

As further stated in the Harkins/Carpenter report, off-duty officers had attended a briefing prior to the protests at which they were told, by PPD Off-Duty Job Coordinator Officer Tim Moore (who was paid $2,065 by ALEC/Kierland for services rendered under the direction of Black during the conference. Moore had also attended several meetings of both ACTIC and ALEC personnel regarding the planned protests, some of which were also apparently attended by PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Van Dorn and PPDMOB undercover detective Saul Ayala) that "no protestors were wanted on resort property and that the resort would want prosecution." And, indeed, the five protestors arrested at the Kierland's east gate were prosecuted -- based, in part, on demonstrably false claims made by these off-duty police officers.

As for the presence of "mobile field force"/TRU officers at the gates of the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa during the ALEC SNPS, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that Black, citing an "article" he had been given by personnel employed by ALEC, had discussed the possibility of deploying a "mobile field force" to the grounds of the resort during the conference with PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Rohme.

The article cited by Black as grounds for this "mobile field force" presence ("Occupy Wall Street Gets More Violent") was written by Heritage Foundation Assistant Director of Strategic Communications Mike Brownfield, and had been published in a Heritage Foundation newsletter. Conspicuously absent from records obtained by DBA/CMD relating to the acquisition of a "mobile field force" apropos the Heritage Foundation "article," is any disclosure on the part of ALEC personnel (or personnel working on behalf of ALEC, including Black) of the fact that Heritage is an ALEC member 'think tank,' co-founded by ALEC founder Paul Weyrich, and financed by many of the very same corporate interests that comprise ALEC "private sector" membership.

What's more, according to records obtained by DBA/CMD, off-duty officers employed as private security for ALEC/Kierland had been given "face sheets," generated by PPDHDB, containing the photographs (mostly driver's license photos) of 24 Phoenix and Tucson-area activists listed as "persons of interest to the ALEC conference." Such activists listed on the ALEC "face sheet" included members of Occupy Phoenix, anarchists, prison reform activists, members of Phoenix Cop Watch (a watchdog group that seeks to police unscrupulous or illegal actions of local law enforcement) and others.

While the exact purpose of the ALEC "face sheet" is unknown, since none of the activists listed on the sheet (with the exception of one activist who had been arrested prior to the ALEC event) were wanted in relation to any alleged crime at the time of the ALEC conference. For his part, PPD Public Information Officer Crump declined to answer any questions relating to the ALEC "face sheet." Nevertheless, a November 17 email sent from ACTIC/PPDHDB "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan to ACTIC/DPS Intelligence Bureau Analyst Annette Roberts may provide some insight to PPDHDB/ACTIC motives

[Note: DPS Northern Intelligence District Commander, Captain Steve Harrison, did not respond to requests seeking information pertaining to Roberts' position within DPS. Records do, however, suggest that Roberts is most likely a DPS Intelligence Bureau analyst]:
"The ACTIC has identified groups that intend 'Shut ALEC Down.' While some may merely protest the event, such as Anti-SB1070 and the Occupy Phoenix movement, anarchist groups have shown a determination to disrupt and shut down the event with the use of violent tactics experienced by other states hosting these meetings. The Phoenix Police Department is taking the lead to identify and intercept persons they believe to pose a threat to the event or attendees."
It should be noted that, regardless of Dowhan's assertions, previous ALEC conferences were not -- by any stretch of the imagination -- subject to any "violent tactics" perpetrated by "anarchists" (or any other individuals). Indeed, the sole arrest to have occurred at any ALEC conference protest prior to the Scottsdale ALEC SNPS took place in New Orleans in August of 2011, during the ALEC Annual Meeting held at the Marriott New Orleans French Quarter Hotel. According to New Orleans Police Department records, on August 5 an officer (who was off-duty, working as private security for the ALEC conference) arrested a male subject for allegedly spray painting an "unknown symbol resembling the letter 'A' with a circle around it (in red color)" on Marriott property.
 
Nevertheless, this much, regarding the application of the ALEC "face sheet," is known: during the ALEC protest on the morning of November 30, 2011, Jason Odhner, a Quaker street medic working with the Phoenix Urban Health Collective, was handcuffed by a police officer, who was likely off-duty and working as private security for ALEC/Kierland, while walking across a slim portion of the the Kierland golf course and detained in the back of a police vehicle for more than an hour (though he was not charged with any crime). At the time of Odhner's false arrest, he had been seeking treatment for a protestor who was suffering from heat-related symptoms. Not surprisingly, Ohdner's name and driver's license photo were present on the ALEC "persons of interest" "face sheet."

According to both a copy of the ALEC "face sheet" and other records obtained by DBA/CMD, officers equipped with this "face sheet" were instructed -- by none other than the sheet's creator, ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Brenda Dowhan -- to destroy all copies of the "face sheet" after the ALEC event. And, as most -- if not all -- of the activists pictured on the ALEC "face sheet" had either known, been Facebook friends with, or been at ALEC protest planning meetings attended by, the "creepy guy" calling himself "Saul DeLara," it is clear that intelligence provided to Dowhan in the creation of this "face sheet" likely had its origins, at least in part, with the PPDMOB undercover detective who had infiltrated the Phoenix activist community.

Read the full report and Appendix of cited materials on SourceWatch here. Read the full report on DBA Press here and view the document archive on DBA Press here. CMD will be publishing articles extracted from the report throughout the week at PRwatch.org.





From the report appendix, this is the photo array of "Persons of Interest" distributed to police and security at the ALEC conference in Scottsdale, AZ in November 2011, presumably assembled at least in part thanks to the Mesa FUSION Center junk intelligence collection. I couldn't be more proud than to be associated with this motley crew. About half of those implicated had nothing to do with organizing or participating in the ALEC resistance, however, and I don't think any of us have actually "committed assault on police officers". Those few who had been previously accused of such -namely the ARPAIO 5 (just thrown on this list for the hell of it, apparently) were either aquitted or charges were dismissed. Solidarity forever, friends!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Governor Brown, CDCR allow degradation of Kosher standards.




As recently blogged here and here, there are problems brewing at Corrections Corporation of America's (CCA) LaPalma Correctional Center, under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to warehouse approximately 3,000 prisoners. 

It appears as if the vendor, Trinity Services Group, has so seriously compromised the Kosher meal program that some prisoners are beginning to refuse the degraded, unkosher food despite the wardens' threats to throw them in the hole as "hunger strikers" - and the CDCR's promise to make sure that one of the most outspoken of the California prisoners "never leaves Arizona" (in case you missed it, that was here): Messianic and Orthodox Jews persecuted at CCA's LaPalma prison.

These men are pretty brave for putting themsleves into my hands now, because I'm going to raise some hell about this and they're the ones still in the line of fire (let me know if anything hits you, guys...). There's a whole bunch of people who should be ashamed of themselves for turning ablind eye to the constitution - not the least of whom is LaPalma Warden Jim MacDonald.

Before it got this far, you see, the prisoners took this up the internal chain of command, assuming the warden would act to enforce CDCR policy and California law in the end... He didn't. So they appealed to all sorts of other people, like CCA Chaplain O'Dell, at CCA HQ in Nashville, who seems to be unconcerned. This letter was sent 1 1/2 year ago.



They also wrote to CDCR food department employee Laurie Maurino, who never responded:

 

They reported the issue to the American Correctional Association last fall - also no response. Guess you can't really count on the police to police the police...




 
 And finally they even tried the Governor,  Jerry Brown, through this well-articulated letter from Annie Santiago, the wife of Messianic prisoner Kenneth Santiago. Guess Jerry doesn't have anyone in his office who handles constituent mail, though - or maybe they just don't care about their mail from families of prisoners. Or perhap they're in on this as well - who knows where the prison contract kickbacks go? 

In any case, they should all know now that when you ignore prisoners trying to address violations of their religious rights, chances are they'll just get louder. I'm told that when virtually every other civil liberty and human right has been stripped from you, you don't compromise too easily when told to surrender the tenets of your faith - and these fellows won't.

Here's the letter to good old liberal Jerry. Thanks for caring, buddy.

 

  




































 Anyway, no one has to do anything just now - the ball is back in CCA's court, and I'm just laying out the evidence. We'll call on you when needed - thank you for your support.

Messianic and Orthodox Jews persecuted at CCA's LaPalma prison

I received a letter this week from one of the Kosher adherents at Corrections Corporation of America's LaPalma Correctional Center in Eloy, AZ regarding their efforts to defend prisoners' religious rights. Kosher meals and their adherents in prison are under attack by private vendors and state actors all over the country right now. Here's the update on the California/AZ front, with my inks to the pertinent documents embedded...


(Art and italics below are those of AZ Prison Watch editor Margaret J Plews)





-----------
May 12, 2013
 
Kenneth Santiago (CDCR#F03822)
CCA LaPalma Correctional Center
5501 N. LaPalma Rd
Eloy, AZ 85131



Dear Peggy,


I am enclosing 20 notices submitted to Chaplain Brunk. There remains equal if not more notices to be collected...

I want to start by saying that Trinity Services Group should be exposed for the anti-semitic organization that it is. At the behest of its food service director (FSD) Hallahan, policies have been enacted against the Kosher community that deny our basic civil liberties. We have recently been threatened that if we fast and not eat our unkosher food we would be put in “Ad-Seg”. These tactics employed by CCA Warden Jim MacDonald are very reminiscent of ones used by Hitler that led up to the horrific crimes against humanity.

On 10/24/12, approximately 1pm, a staff member from California Contract Beds Unit (of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, responsible for assuring that private prisons comply with state laws...ed) who identified himself as Assistant Director Moss (I believe this refers to Mr. Joseph Moss, Chief Deputy Warden, Contract Beds Unit, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - ed.), spoke with me in the presence of CCA Warden MacDonald and AW Stansel. He stated that “because of your appeal of the Kosher program, I will make sure that you never leave Arizona...” and to take him to court and sue him. There is nothing beneath Trinity Service Group, CCA, and CBU in their campaign to discourage and dissuade prisoners from pursuing their rights.

I, as well as all concerned, desire to be afforded the same civil liberties as other California inmates are, which the California Code of Regulations Title 15 Sec 3379 (I) asserts. This regulation was enacted to safeguard the basic fundamental rights and protections guaranteed to all California inmates. We are not asking for new statutes or policies, only equal protection under the “current law”.

CCA Warden MacDonald, who is a former CDCR warden, is well aware that he is responsible for the treatment of all inmates (CCR Title 15, Section 3380 (a)) CA Penal Code 5058 requires the department to adopt and amend its rules for administration of prison through the Administrative Procedures Act (Gov Code Sec 11340).

Notwithstanding statutory and regulatory requirements, on May 14, 2012, CCA LaPalma issued an administrative bulletin titled “Menu Change” (See attached) This bulletin was issued through CCA Warden MacDonald and noted that Kosher program would be changed to a “Global Kosher Diet” program, soy-based and cooked in-house. Cooper v CALIF (N.D.Cal) NO:C02-3712-JSW settlement agreement NOV 12, 2003, as well as statutory and regulatory laws prohibit the cooking of any  food in the Kosher program. Only sealed meals are acceptable.

As an agent of CDCR Warden Jim MacDonald is bound to follow the letter of the law. Because this bulletin has adopted “a whole new and different scheme affecting the feeding and administration of Kosher inmates” which nullifies both statutory and regulatory rules, said bulletin should have been promulgated in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act (GOV Code 11340).

The courts have already stated that such policies constitute invalid “underground regulation” requiring Kosher inmates to eat at common undedicated tables and to drink from unkosher common containers (see memo dated April 26, 2013). It should be note that all items including tables used in any Kosher program must be dedicated exclusively to the Kosher program. The tables in the dining hall are wiped with rags that are saturated in the very food we are to abstain from. There are no hot water urns for the tea bags/coffee packets served. If Kosher inmates take any items out of the dining hall we will receive a disciplinary write up.

On 5/7/13 several inmates began fasting and praying from the Kosher meals. After 2 days we were threatened by CCA staff that if we didn’t cease from exercising our first amendment right to fast and pray we would be put into Administrative Segregation.

Being an elder and spokesman for our Assembly, the welfare of the community weighs heavily upon my heart. Therefore, I suggested that any meals delivered in our cells be received. It should be noted that Trinity Service Group FSD Hallahan intends to shortly begin serving so-called Kosher meals on plastic trays that will be washed in the same dishwasher as the general population. When this occurs, the community cannot in good faith receive any of the food served on them.

It is bad enough that our food is cooked in a fly-infested kitchen next to a bathroom by inmates who experiment with our food daily. I have included as evidence a personal letter written by the Kosher cook. That letter serves as proof to the wilful and deliberate sabotage of our food at the behest of FSD Hallahan. I will be sending you more sworn declarations from inmates who work in the kitchen and were told by Hallahan that he is doing this to get inmates off the Kosher program.

I am a chronic care inmate and will sacrifice myself for the greater good of the community.  I see this as inevitable. My only concern is for the health of others.

Kenneth Santiago (F03822)



--------contact info --------

La Palma Correctional Center (LPCC) 

Warden: Jim MacDonald 

5501 North La Palma Road
Eloy, Arizona 85153
Main Phone : (800) 624-2931



477 Commerce Blvd
Oldsmar, Fl. 34677
(813) 854-4264

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Dalinda Harman, Chief, Contract Beds Unit

10961 Sun Center Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(916) 464-4001