Tag Archives: Sheriff Joe Arpaio

A True Subversive

The story of Adam Stoddard, the sheriff’s deputy in Arizona who lifted a document in open court from the files of a defense attorney is by now well-known, particularly among the legal community and especially the criminal defense bar.  If you haven’t seen the video of the officer’s despicable conduct, I invite you to do so here:

The latest on this is that the judge in whose courtroom Stoddard worked ordered him to jail for contempt of court after Stoddard refused to apologize to the attorney for stealing the document from her case file.  Stoddard was recently released from custody and praised by his boss, the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.  For what, I’m not entirely sure.

The most disturbing thing about Stoddard’s conduct is the sense of entitlement and arrogance he exhibited throughout the incident, continuing through the hearing.  That is, it doesn’t seem like Stoddard thought he did anything wrong at all.  That it was his duty to pry into the defense attorney’s files because, well, she’s a defense attorney, and her clients are the scum of the earth.

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“We F****ed Up”

Scott Greenfield over at Simple Justice picked up a story on Anthony Arambula who was shot in the back 6 times by the police who mistook him for a robber.  Of course, the cover up, as they say, is often worse than the crime.  And here, the police apparently tried everything short of bribing witnesses to cover up their tracks.  The incident took place in Maricopa County which also happens to be playground of infamous Sherrif Joe Arpaio.

According to the report of the incident by Courthouse News Service:

A homeowner says a Phoenix police officer shot him six times in the back during a 911 home-invasion call, and the 911 tape recorded the officer’s partner saying, “That’s all right. Don’t worry about it. I got your back. … We clear?” The family says the officers were not aware that the 911 call was still recording as they spoke about covering up the shooting.

In their complaint in Maricopa County Court, Anthony and Lesley Arambula say an armed intruder “crashed through the front window” of their home on Sept. 17, 2008 and ran into one of their son’s bedrooms.

Anthony, worried about his son who was still in his bedroom, says he “held the intruder calmly at gunpoint” and called 911.

Phoenix Police officers already in the neighborhood heard the crash of the Arambulas’ window. When they approached the house, Lesley says, she told Sgt. Sean Coutts that her husband was inside holding the intruder at gunpoint. Lesley says Coutts failed to pass on that information to the two other officers.

Inside the house, the Arambulas say, Officer Brian Lilly shot Anthony six times in the back while he was still on the phone with the 911 operator – twice when he was on the ground. 
The officers ran into the bedroom after Anthony told them, “You just killed … you just killed the homeowner. The bad guy is in there.”

The entire Courthouse News Service article can be found here, Steve Greenfield’s take, here.