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Phoenix officer assaulted woman during minor traffic stop, then took her to jail

Armando Nava

In recent years, Phoenix police have displayed unnecessary use of force against its citizens. Some examples of this are:

  • Phoenix Police tackling a blind man. Article
  • Phoenix Police threaten to shoot a man in front of his children. Article
  • Phoenix Police killed a man struggling from mental illness. Article

One of the latest displays of unnecessary force occurred in January 2020 to a 23 year old Mariah Valenzuela. Mariah Valenzuela, a mother of two, was pulled over for a traffic violation. What occurred next would be a terrifying experience for Ms. Valenzuela which resulted in many injuries to her face and head. Body Camera footage obtained by The Guardian, shows the excessive use of force by the Phoenix police officer. The footage then goes on to show multiple police officers discussing plans to cover up what occurred. Once another officer learned about what transpired and of the injuries, he directed the police on scene to “just to CYA [cover your ass]” when writing the follow up reports.

The arresting officer only suggested 30 minutes into the arrest that Valenzuela may be intoxicated. When one officer noted that she was bleeding, the arresting officer stated, “She’s just going to complain to complain.”

To Read The Guardian Article, Click Here

Nava Law Firm Reaction:

Sadly, what happened in this case is not an isolated incident. Police officers too often react with violence at even the slightest indication that someone is questioning their authority. We must stop viewing these incidents as the work of “bad apples,” and face the realization that the way we train police officers is the problem. It is why I am passionate about my work on the Mayor’s Review and Implementation Committee for the City of Phoenix and my efforts through Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice at the Legislature to reform policing. I have successfully represented many people who found themselves in the same position as Ms. Valenzuela. It is always a scary time for my clients, and it is why having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side is important.

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