"Occupy" protesters disavow threatening circular
"When should you shoot a cop" flier has law enforcement on alert
The "anti-government" and "anti-law enforcement" potential threat immediately caught the attention of the state’s counter-terrorism agency. Video by kgun9.com
Maricopa Co. deputies say they found this circular at a Phoenix protest
Deputies issued a statewide alert about the circular
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A stack of papers found at an Occupy event in Arizona has law enforcement on alert statewide. The document is titled “When Should You Shoot a Cop?” The potential threat immediately caught the attention of the state’s counter-terrorism agency.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office confirms to KGUN9 News: one of its deputies discovered the leaflets at an event in Phoenix.
The two-page, unsigned letter reads: “If you have the unalienable right to speak [your] mind (a la the First Amendment), then you have the right to KILL ‘government’ agents who try to shut you up. If you have the unalienable right to be armed, then you have the right to KILL ‘government’ agents who try to disarm you.”
That put the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center on alert, prompting a statewide safety warning for all law enforcement. ACTIC is part of the Department of Public Safety.
“This letter is blatantly anti-government and anti-law enforcement in nature,” the alert reads. “It not only condones but even encourages citizens to kill any ‘government agent’ (i.e. law enforcement officer), who in their perception violates their rights.”
“With emotions high in regards to law enforcement and government personnel,” it states later, “there is obvious concern this document could incite actions with protestors to take actions they might not have taken otherwise.”
Reporter Kevin Keen asked DPS spokesman Bart Graves, “Is there any specific actions that officers can do, armed with this new information?" “It’s a reporting mechanism at this point,” Graves said. “We want them to be aware and for any intelligence or information they gather in their own jurisdictions leading to the person or persons responsible.”
At Tucson’s Armory Park Wednesday evening, protesters were clear about the document: “Occupy Tucson has nothing to do with that,” said organizer Craig Barber. “Occupy Tucson is a peaceful movement and we certainly do not condone anything that would promote violence against anyone in the community or the police.”
“The uniqueness and sometimes the flaw of this movement is the fact everybody has the right to do whatever they wish,” said organizer Jon McLane. “I’m assuming it was likely not even somebody who is involved with this movement--not somebody who wanted peace and nonviolence but just somebody that bandwagoned on to the movement.”
ACTIC may reach a similar conclusion, as law enforcement investigate where the document came from and who distributed it.
“Our early indication was that there was no direct connection between this particular flier and the Occupy Phoenix movement,” Graves said. “The organizers have distanced themselves for this flier, and we believe there’s no connection between the two.”
Tucson Police Department says once it received the alert, officers searched Armory Park for similar materials. They did not find any.