Another example of the complicated face of humanity:
Fellow inmate Windy Panzo blew the lid off of the alleged murder-for-hire plot, and has since been moved from the general population at the Estrella Jail into protective custody because of death threats.
But this mother of three children said she’d do it all again to save a child’s life.
"I’m not a snitch," Panzo said. "A snitch is somebody who snitches somebody out to get them in trouble - not to save a life."
According to a Phoenix police report, Panzo likely saved four lives.
In December 2013, Beanes, who was already in jail on 41 charges including first-degree murder, struck up a friendship with Panzo.
"She was joking around, talking about how it would be so much easier if she could get people out of the way," Panzo said.
She quickly realized Beanes wasn’t kidding.
Panzo said Beanes was looking to have four witnesses, including a 9-year-old boy, killed.
So Panzo told Beanes she could help her, and then alerted jail officials.
"If I can save one little boy and these people - I would put my life on the line for that little boy and these people. Who wouldn’t?" Panzo said.
On Jan. 10, an undercover Phoenix police officer – posing as a hit man who knew Panzo – visited Beanes in jail.
"That little boy would not be standing here," Panzo said about what could have happened had she not spoken up. "And, one day, I hope to get a hug from him because that would be an honor. It’s altered my life greatly from doing it. But, I cannot be ashamed. I cannot be ashamed of what I’m doing."
CBS 5 News spoke with the sergeant with whom Panzo confided.
He confirmed she has not asked for any special treatment, or a reduction in her sentence stemming from drug and weapons charges, for coming forward with the life-saving information.
Inmates and convicts are all too often tarred with a negative stigma. People “on the outside” pre-judge individuals with a criminal record on the basis that they must be completely evil, anti-social people based on the fact that they’ve been convicted of something.
But no one is the sum of the worst thing they’ve ever done. People don’t magically lose all sense of right and wrong just because they broke the law. Criminals don’t commit crimes. People commit crimes. The failure to distinguish between the two is part of the reason why prisons have become, to use Chris Glazek’s phrase, “an ideological system that dehumanizes an entire class of human being and permits nearly infinite violence against it.” With predictable results.
The complaints that this Court, and every other American appellate court, receives almost daily from prisoners about conditions of incarceration, about filth, about…rape, and about brutality are not always the mouthings of the purely malcontent. The Court itself acknowledges that the conditions these respondents complained about do exist… . And the government concedes: “In light of prison conditions that even now prevail in the United States, it would be the rare inmate who could not convince himself that continued incarceration would be harmful to his health or safety.”
California confiscation: Long forgotten pot bust, bureacratic screwup prompt agents to seize man's guns
Michael Merritt had all but forgotten about the pot bust way back in 1970 when state agents came knocking on the door of his Bakersfield, Calif. home.
The agents, from the state’s Department of Justice, started peppering the 61-year-old avid hunter with questions about the guns he owns. Then they told him to hand them over.
“I didn’t know why they were here,” Merritt told FoxNews.com of the Nov. 5 incident. “Then it hit me in a flash. They were here to take my guns and I didn’t know why.”
Another day, another cop kicking a 10-year old and breaking his leg who “looked up” to the police, and then humiliating his half-naked mother in public:
Silvera’s 61-year-old mother, who is suffering from brain and lung cancer, answered the door but had difficulty understanding the cops’ reason for being there, the suit said.
The curious child went to see what was going on, grabbed his mother’s cell phone and began recording the commotion.
“The police had come to our house before (due to the domestic violence complaint) and he’s fascinated by the police, he looks up to them,” Silvera, 30, a nursing student at Long Island University, told the Daily News.
But the cop apparently didn’t like being recorded and began assaulting the child, the suit said.
“I heard my son screaming, ‘You can’t do that! You’re hurting me! Don’t hit me!’ ” she said.
The mother had been upstairs getting her 5-year-old daughter ready for school. She bolted downstairs into the fray, dressed in her underclothes, and was grabbed by a cop who pulled her outside in the freezing cold, the suit alleges.
While Silvera was being restrained, her breast popped out of her bra revealing a pierced nipple, according to the suit.
“The officer flicked the piercing, he flicked the ring up with his finger on my right breast,” she said. “He said, ‘Is this what mothers look like these days?’
“My neighbors saw me naked. It was degrading. I can deal with the embarrassment of what (the police) did to me in front of my neighbors, but the hardest thing is explaining to my kids that not all police are bad,” she added.
So here we have another young person who may have grown up to be a police officer, but after having his leg broken and watching his mother be humiliated, his opinion of law enforcement will probably be something less than sterling. When police behave like this, whether they know it or not, they are influencing future generations to distrust the police. This undermines public safety by reducing confidence in the criminal justice system, which in turn, means victims are less likely to come forward, and witnesses are less likely to cooperate. Oh, and the taxpayers will probably be on the hook for it when the city tries to settle this case. So basically, everybody loses. Except the police officer who abused his authority.
Early contender for best headline of the year.
Update: This apparently happened last year and I missed it. Still a great headline, though.