Valley news outlets have given much attention to the youtube video featuring a Mesa police officer and his failed take-down arrest, and the subsequent Mesa police dog pile on Matatangi Sentituli Tai outside of a Mesa Circle K.
Coverage ranged from the Phoenix New Times blogger Matthew Hendley describing the police violence as "supposed police 'brutality' during a physical arrest in Mesa" and "more like a blooper reel", to channel 5's Elizabeth Erwin's article which reads like a press release straight from the department's PR flacks. KPNX channel 12 brought one time Arpaio opponent, and ex-Phoenix PD "good cop" Paul Penzone onto their morning show to justify the actions of the officers, giving the excuse that the only reason this looks so bad is that "there should have been more aggression earlier on."
So there you have it, Valley media and police officers can agree on one thing: they know police brutality when they see it, and this was no police brutality. A couple of the articles mention a car accident, which is audible in the video, which happened when an off duty Mesa cop ran a red light to jump in on the arrest. To my knowledge there has been no follow up from any media outfit on the condition of the other driver, and many outlets failed to even refer to the accident.
In addition, a Mesa family is grieving the loss of their family member Joseph Moreno, he died after being tasered and arrested while the U.S. Marshals East Valley Fugitive Task Force were executing a search warrant for a parole violation. The officers tasered the unarmed Moreno when an officer felt threatened. The arrested man was placed in a patrol car for 45 minutes where his speech slurred and he sweated profusely. Eventually Moreno was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Moreno family has organized a vigil for their Joseph this Thursday, June 6th at Pioneer Park in Mesa at 8 PM. The family is also in need of financial support, they have set up an account for donations to help with the costs of the funeral, the account is with Chase Bank and donations can be made to account number 2995635725. The family is also receiving support from three fundraising car washes this Saturday at the following locations:
- Taco Mexico Restaurant at 27th Ave and Camelback at 7 AM
- 8607 E. Main St in Mesa between Sossaman and Ellsworth at 9 AM
- Rudy's Restaurant near Ellsworth and Ocotillo in Queen Creek at 8 AM