On April 8, 2009, PLEA was advised that several days earlier on April 2, that a Phoenix officer had stopped a vehicle in the vicinity of 7th St. and Watkins for a speeding violation. The officer on the scene made a determination that the vehicle should be towed and impounded for 30 days under the provisions of ARS 28-3511 due to the fact that the operator of the vehicle was driving on a suspended license. A female passenger subsequently claimed ownership of the vehicle, stated that she was the neice of Councilman Mike Johnson and asked that a supervisor be called. The officers first line supervisor agreed that under the circumstances the vehicle should be towed and impounded for 30 days under the provisions of ARS 28-3511. The female occupant then requested that a lieutenant be called. The patrol lieutenant gave instructions that the car not be impounded so as “not to throw gas on the fire of the current political situation.” It is important to note that ARS 28-3511 states that “A peace officer shall cause the removal and either immobilization or impoundment of a vehicle…” This statute is not permissive in nature.
Click link below to see related videos.
Listen Now! to comments aired on the Mike Broomhead show on Thursday, April 8 regarding the incident.
CLICK HERE to read PLEA’s public record request for the digital audio and video recording of the incident.
CLICK HERE to read the memo authored by the on scene supervisor with follow on comment authored by the shift Lt.
Audio tracks are difficult to hear due to background noise at the scene.