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Maricopa County, Arizona Police. A personal observation of Sheriff Joe's world of policing

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posted on Jul, 14 2011 @ 10:06 AM
I have lived in 8 states and currently in Arizona. In the short time I have been here I want to provide a bit of personal experience regarding the police and the public’s perception of the police.

In 30 days, I have heard at least 10 average (white) folks refer to Maricopa Country (Phoenix) as a “police state”. In over 40 years of living other places, East Coast, West Coast and Mountain states, Hawaii, I have never heard the local police referred to in that manner, certainly by that many folks and in casual conversation with folks I did not know.

In places like NY and LA, you know not to mess with the police, it’s a given. It’s been proven that in many instances sections of both the NYPD and LAPD have been criminal enterprises. That being said, the average person does not fear either the LAPD or the NYPD. They are highly respected for the most part and seen as on the side of the average person. Don’t fool with them and they won’t fool with you. They have enough to worry about than harassing the average person.

It’s a bit different in Maricopa County. People here are afraid of the police. They will pull you over, they will arrest you, and they will take you immediately to Tent City. The common tactic is for the police to ride 25 feet from your bumper (which is against the law) and make the person nervous. You will make a mistake. How long does your turn signal need to be on prior to changing lanes? How long before you turn it off after changing lanes is too long? What is not maintaining speed? Flowing between 45 and 50? 35 and 50? 47 and 50?

The point being is that there is a difference between driving safely and abiding by traffic laws up to the letter and in any event those laws as it pertains to enforcement are totally subjective. Was it really only 50 feet prior to changing lanes, or was it the legal 150? Who the hell knows? What is written on the ticket is what matters.

You cannot drive after drinking even a couple of beers, period. Police sit in the parking lot of a pub and follow you out. They will do as described above and you will get a DUI and whisked off to Tent City. I have met more folks here in 30 days with a DUI than I have in my entire life. Stopping in an up-scale brew pub for a beer, the owner told me not to park in his lot again. He advised me to park across the street at the supermarket and after leaving go into the supermarket and then back to my car. He told me this three sips into my first beer, having never seen me before. I asked him how this practice impacted his business and he estimated that it took 40% minimum off the top. He’s in the process of selling the business.

For the folks who think that they only harass Latinos, not correct. In fact they have such a problem with the illegal Mexicans that they purposefully target middle class white neighborhoods to balance out the racial statistics.

I’ve not been pulled over and don’t drink and drive so that is not the problem. It is interesting that this is the only place where I have heard so many folks who don’t even know you tell you that Maricopa County is a police state. Interesting. Folks think Sheriff Joe is funny with his chain gangs, etc. The folks who live here certainly don’t think he’s funny. They are scared to death of him and his shop.

edit on 14-7-2011 by dolphinfan because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-7-2011 by dolphinfan because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 14 2011 @ 10:19 AM
And now a note from the other side...
I have lived in Maricopa county for 26+ years and have never heard a single person refer to it as a police state. I have never had a problem with the police and yes I have been pulled over a few times in my years living here. Every time the officer has been as polite as expected and I the same to him/her.
If you have been drinking, using, or mouthing off then yes, you will end up in tent city but that is anywhere.
In my experience you will be treated the same way that you act, good or bad.

posted on Jul, 14 2011 @ 10:39 AM
I have family that lives in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley and what they tell me is how good of a job Sheriff Joe is doing.

When you live in a state that has the problems and crime they have from all the illegals and drugs it's gonna be a rough state.

I know of the violence of the police(and how many of them are corrupt), i'm not a sheep, but in a land of lawlessness playing nice isn't easy when you face drug cartels and mofia daily.

I've never heard it referred to as a police state either though.

posted on Jul, 14 2011 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by SadButTrue

The Scottsdale and Paradise Valley are areas with extremely low crime rates. The reality of the popularity of the police from folks in large parts of the county is that they run a gauntlet and keep the Mexicans out of areas with a higher socio-economic demographic.

Lumping the entire county into a bucket of high crime, gang infected zone is not an accurate description. The issue is that police statistics are gathered according to jurisdiction and when you are arresting a large number of minorities you have to arrest a large number of non-minorities. Sheriff Joe is already upside down with the Justice Department. The county should perhaps be split.

In any event, I have not been here long enough to form my own opinion and have only stated what I've been told by locals and it ain't pretty

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