Take a Stand

Seal of Maricopa County, Arizona

“You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything!”

Aaron Tippin

The citizens of Maricopa County have a choice in the impending Sheriff’s election. They can maintain the status quo, perpetuating a regime of sporadic, targeted law enforcement, where the incarcerated stands a very good chance of being tortured to death, as in the case of Marty Artencio, and several other preceding prisoners, of inhumane incarceration in tents, chain gangs, denial of medications, and international embarrassment. They may also choose one of two challengers to the regime, a former police sergeant in the country’s sixth largest police agency, with no command experience, or a lieutenant in a bedroom community of the same city, who, by virtue of his rank, has limited command experience. The Arizona Democratic Party supports the sergeant. The same cabal of ultra conservative wealthy Arizonans, who support Joe Arpaio, endorse the lieutenant, a former Republican, running as an independent.

Another choice exists, a Democratic candidate, who retired from the largest police agency in the nation, NYPD, at the rank of Deputy Assistant Chief, John Rowan. This is a man who currently teaches ethics and community policing at the college level, and who was delegated the task of overhauling and administering New York’s police department and the security agency in Iraq. Rowan was deployed by NYPD at ground zero, on September 11, 2001. Naysayers within the Democratic Party will declare Rowan’s having been recently terminated by Goodyear Police Department. This is true. He was indeed terminated. However, what naysayers fail to report, is the actual reason for his termination. Rowan testified in court, pertinent to police involvement in a fatal hit and run collision with a teenaged pedestrian. He refused to participate in a police coverup of a wrongful death. His testimony resulted in several early retirements and terminations, including those of both the Chief of Police and the City Manager of Goodyear. Subsequent to this, Rowan has endured numerous threats. On his way out the door, the city manager, not being used to such treatment, fired John Rowan. Therefore,  Rowan paid with the loss of his job, for having the integrity to tell the truth. He is currently paying for his integrity, by having his, and his family’s, personal safety jeopardized. Perhaps it is actually true that the voters in Maricopa County have no choice. They can either perpetuate the status quo or elect a sheriff with the background, dedication, and integrity to effectively clean house in MCSO,  before the U.S. Department of Justice is forced to step in. You decide. Take a stand.

About Stefan Jacke

MagicRobert presented me with a vellum document, composed in an insane script. We were in a well secured vault in the Michener Library. His face exploded into a broad smile, as he saw me recognize the words, "That government governs best which governs least." It was a copy of "On Civil Disobedience" in the author's own hand. The experience called to mind a conversation Henry David Thoreau had with Ralph Waldo Emerson, as Thoreau sat in a jail cell, incarcerated for protesting the Mexican War. Emerson asked, "David, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau responded, "The point is, Ralph, what are you doing out there?" Once, long ago, I jumped off of big red trucks, lifted weights, and cleaned toilets for a living. Then I wrestled drunks, ran around in circles, and got splattered with blood and all manner of body fluids for a living. Now I enjoy the stillness of early morning in my rocking chair on the porch, with a hot cup of coffee, trying in vain to forget the past. Thank you, Robert!
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