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home : blogs_old : press pass August 01, 2014

Press Pass
By Tim Wiederaenders
twieds@prescottaz.com
Daily Courier Editor Tim Wiederaenders shares his insights.
Friday, March 22, 2013

Come clean over Iron Brotherhood

By Tim Wiederaenders


In pondering a topic for this blog entry, I could not shake thoughts about the Iron Brotherhood controversy. In short, it involves retired and active police officers who belong to a motorcycle club. In December they got into a bar fight in downtown Prescott.

The Daily Courier has done several stories on this, fighting for information at every turn, including video of the fight.

Since it happened, three of the club's members have retired and/or resigned from their law enforcement jobs - one directly as a result of the controversy. The other two did not immediately provide a reason. At least one officer also reportedly quit the motorcycle club.

As far as we can tell, no one else has quit, retired or been placed on administrative leave or desk duty pending investigation. It appears that each agency affected is awaiting the final, expected-soon report from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

First, most agencies with employees allegedly involved missed the PR boat. In 26 years of journalism it has been my experience that when people come out and address a controversy quickly and publicly they are far more likely to do well in the court of public opinion - even if there is not much they can say.

Has that happened here? You be the judge.

Second, I know several active and former police officers. They are professional and upstanding men. The ones I have spoken to tell me they are saddened by this entire debacle, but do not justify the actions of their law enforcement brothers.

I told one of them, "Go out to dinner tonight and bring up the subject of the bar fight with someone. Will you be afraid, ashamed or even embarrassed to tell them you are a policeman?"

I wonder.

Related Links:
• PV chief retires ...

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Article comment by: justa girl in PV

We are still waiting for that DPS report. I have to wonder if there are a few of the IB at the top of DPS ? I know if it was a vitizen at that bar in Dec , our legal case would have been over and done .Photo snd name in the paper, job lost or business closed.Whats up with that? Why are we being treated this way? I am pretty sure that the town council has decided this is over. Put their heads in the sand or where it wont show ande6x blindly move on. Wow!

Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Article comment by: first step

"aluminum sisterhood"

whazzat?


Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: @-@should be charged under RICO

Obviously you're a cop, and possibly Aluminum Sisterhood. But, I've read and understand. I also understand the meaning of obstruction. Listen, if we ever see an "official investigation"
a determination could be made. But your
buddies are probably members of AS.
But thanks for your armchair lawyer dissertation but your "matter of fact" attitude is so transparent as to who you are. Is there anything else you or your elite buddies have been wrongfully accused of? Because the attitudes of LE these days is mostly arrogance.


Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: @ talk to the cops

Well this may be a good idea. I think people are begining to sigh and go "oh well thats the way it is here" and. if thats true , well, maybe it's time to slap a for sale sign on my house. Never ever thought that would happen. It just seems on the balance of things., it's not.such nice place to be any more. Lets clean up the leo messes and make it a nice place again. Other wise I think that the nice people will leave.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: reb Fowler

Why should they come clean?

They've got a lot to hide, and the stonewalling is working.

Let's have a Law Enforcement Appreciation Parade.


Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: TALK TO THE COPS

Hey Courier staff. Since all you are getting from the politicians, department heads, and administrators is stonewalling and partial truths maybe you should consider going to the working stiffs and getting some REAL information that you can use to print "the rest of the story" right from the "people in the know". You might be surprised by what the honest police officers might tell you if they were promised that their names wouldn't be plastered all over the papers for their questionably ethical higher ups to see. This stalled DPS investigation is a joke and the honest police officers want this charade over as much as the public does. Lets get this ball rolling. Maybe all the good cops need is a phone number that they can call and give the courier staff a few positive leads that they can follow up on. And how about a follow up story putting names to the people who are being asked by the Courier staff to do their jobs and release public information. If there are public officials and employees working for these agencies that are refusing to tell the public what they have a right to know. Let's have their names so that the people can speak to them directly. The public has a right to this information and the bureaucrats have no right to refuse.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: very curious in PV

Well here we are , mid April and no report. Is anyone supprised? I must say I am. I thought better of the local Leos I know. Now I am not so sure. Whst ever happened to the Sgt who was fixing tickets?oh yeah and his boss. You would think as tax paying citizens we would deserve better treatment from our officals. I suspect that we have a much larger problem than we thought at first. The bar brawl ,the lying( oh yeah just forgetting)about who's Top Gun, and all the misdirection. Then we have the ticket fixing, then the absolulte and deagening silence from the PV officals. Telling isnt it....If it wernt so sad and disquieting, I would thi.k about making it a fiction dtorey. One more big incident and maybe it could be a summer blockbuster..what a disgrace....

Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: where is report where is DPS report

Where is DPS report? Citizens are we really going to allow this from our public servants when do we stand up and rise against these communist dictators? How many wrongful arrests, unlawful sentences and wasting of resources are we gonna allow? we are being lied to and allowing it...makes me sick.

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

I suggest that we place the board of supervisors, the County attorney and hold a citizens trial for competency. We have done similar actions in Arizona in the past when corruption was evident.

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Article comment by: Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The DC reported on 1-18-13 that The Iron Brotherhood (IB) includes members from DPS, yet DPS is doing the investigation to avoid any perceived conflict, or words to that effect. This has never made sense to me. As more and more has been exposed regarding the membership of the IB, it is abundantly clear that the membership is composed of the highest ranking officials.

Which of the DPS are members of the IB. I wonder if the DC would be able to name the members of The Whiskey Row Chapter that are included in the group photo that was published 1-18-13? Maybe the photo could be blown up to expose the nick names. I am interested in whether high ranking officers are more likely to join the IB or if IB members are more likely to be promoted?

What are their requirements? Do they have initiations? Do they elect a board? Does the general membership approve new members? Do they have meetings? Do they have rituals or ceremonies? Do they pray together? Do they earn patches like the boy scouts. Do they take an oath to each other? Where do the nick names come from? What is the significance of the nick names?

When I first learned of this motorcycle club I thought, "Maybe this is not all together different than a baseball team, or a bowling team." " What's so wrong with law enforcement enjoying recreation together?" Now it seems more like a secret society then a baseball team. Even the name Iron Brotherhood sounds violent. The insignia also looks violent. I also read in an online comment that the officer involved in the photo radar scandal was a member of IB. I wish the DC would get to the bottom of that as well. Wouldn't someone be able to see at least if that officer is in the group photo?

I appreciate the work that the DC has done but the more I learn the more intrigued I become.


Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: justa gal in pv

I am no longer sure any of us are safe here. Not to complain about this guy getting arrested at all, it sounds like her is a nasty one. I just wonder why the IB bunch are out walking around...
Whats good for the goose is good for the gander unless you are a LEO or family mrmber of a LEO.Who else is involved? We do have a good ol noys group in the legal.and le grops they do seem to interconnect.This is a very bad thing.
What ever happened to my nice home town? what we have here . well itStinks to high heaven. Thanks for keeping on top of all this cr#p Courier.


Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lane

Who cares anymore.

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

I need to know if my children are safe from .... Where is the official investigation.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: BUSINESS AS USUAL !!!!

The politicians, town managers, department heads and supervisors have successfully hunkered down and ridden out the storm. They carry on with their "business as usual" attitudes and wait for the next opportunity to bait and switch the public when the next scandal appears. Many of the citizens of the community who were initially angry and asking for answers have moved on with their lives and no longer monitor the situation. A few early retirements were the outcome of this ordeal and the community loses again. The real issue of lack of integrity, honesty and ethics of our public officials remains unattended while the straw man of an illusive and secret DPS report keeps the citizens at bay. It is truly sad but it is "business as usual".

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: C.C. Clavin

I always find myself agreeing with Mr. Hooty Hoo. Sometimes I think we must have been separated at birth. I wonder if he has a big pile of undelivered mail in his garage, too. On this justice thing, he's right of course. It's over. We should all just pack it in. There will be no DPS report, no arrests, no justice, no Twinkies, no diggity and no reason to live. It's a little known fact that in ancient Babylonia, the citzens would express their outrage at their own DPS by joining hands and running headlong over a cliff while screaming in falsetto, "It's over, it's just so totally O-O-O-V-V-E-R-R-R!" Sad, but true. Hooty, you're a patriot. When it comes to exposing the obvious and smooching defeat, you are truly the man! Keep up the good work, we're all counting on you.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Biker Billy

Lets see, so far Top Gun is still unknown, An LT and Sgt fixed numerous speeding tickets for spouses and god only knows how many other family members and / or friends might have recieved the same treatment.
I also think Hooty Hoo hit the nail on the head, this mess goes much deeper than they can afford to let become public. Very sad situation for sure, hard to have any faith in Law Enforcements ability to police it's self.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: jon q public

Well, well, well,
I rarely agree with Mr Hooty Hoo,but today I might. What the heck is going on? Where is the DPS report? Are are all sure that one was even started? I have grave doubts about ever hearing anything from DPS or the town of PV about any of this. And that sucks .
How sad to feel so very distrust of our officers but the town leaders also.
Sad , but more disgusting than sad...


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

@ TO: Dude, nobody was arrested. Nobody can ever be arrested for what happened that night. It's over and done with. Forget justice and all that blah blah. It's over, and there will be no report from DPS because there's nothing to report.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: TO - @ should be charged under RICO

Thank you for your STRONG recommendations, and for the free legal education. Evidently, the glacial pace of the DPS investigation, now in its fourth month, has provided plenty of time for the key players in the IBMC matter to lawyer-up (either that or we now have a bona fide jailhouse lawyer on the blog). Going back many years, I don't recall such benefits ever being extended to another Yavapai County citizen accused of similar offenses. In a comparable situation involving regular citizens, probable cause for an arrest would normally be established within minutes or hours following the arrival of the initial investigating officers. The alleged offenders would be booked, and if charged with felonies, the next day their names and booking photos would appear in the newspaper. Even in a similar incident that involved VIP's or that might otherwise have the potential to be high-profile, probable cause for an arrest would be expected to be established (or rejected) within days or a few weeks at the outside (in complex cases).

Equal justice is the only true justice. I personally think police officers deserve the benefit of the doubt up front. I also believe that a person's life and good works should be considered as mitigating factors following a conviction and before sentencing. Most of us would agree on that, and our system allows for it. But in between, once probable cause for an arrest has been established, justice should strive to be blind. A comparison of the process followed so far in this case to the steps followed in any of several other similar local criminal investigations/prosecutions would reveal stark contrasts. Will these contrasts continue to mount? Is that the kind of justice system we want?

And counselor, with regard to the statutes and what is "chargeable," I STRONGLY recommend that you not get too cocky. At this point, I wouldn't be so sure that anything is off the table.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

The DPS investigation is over, and closed I think. There is nothing to report.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Daniel Fallon

Last October, while my wife and I were returning from Phoenix via the White Spars, over the twisty Bradshaw mountain switchbacks, we were harassed by 7 motorcyclists for 3 of the 13 miles of dangerous road. This road is littered with road shrines to motorcyclists that have either gone off the cliff, hit the rockface wall or crashed into oncoming traffic. My wife and I were doing the speed limit, give or take 5 mph.

Fiinally, one of the motorcyclists pulled in front of us and slowed down dramatically. He then waved the other motorcyclists to pass us. These motorcyclists were all wearing a leather (of course!) jacket with the word Prescott emblazened on the rear of the jacket.

Harassment by motorcyclists is increasingly becoming a problem in Prescott. The police disregard constant violations of the City noise abatement ordinances with motorcycles.

The quality of life in Prescott has seen a significant downturn over the past few years as a result of these abusive behaviors by motorcyclists.


Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Article comment by: Miranda S

It was my friend who was the victim in the Moctezuma bar fight. My other friends were there with him to help get him out of there. I've seen the videos. I know what happened, and what was said to the IB. Their actions were not justice for anything. Just the simple street rule of "You don't need to be asking questions about gangs". And thats what this is people. Let's let go of the term "Motorcycle club" and call it for what it really is. A corrupt police gang.

Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Article comment by: @ should be charged under RICO

Before popping for about charging IB members with a RICO act violation, I STRONGLY suggest you read and understand what is chargeable under RICO.

Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at Title 18 United States Code, Section 1961. As currently amended the act includes: Any violation of state statutes against murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance. Some of the offenses covered under the Federal criminal code include: bribery, counterfeiting, theft from interstate commerce, dealing with obscene matter, embezzlement for pension and welfare funds, extortionate credit transactions, fraud in connection with identification documents, obstruction of justice, obstruction of criminal investigations, obstruction of State or local law enforcement, slave trafficking , racketeering, gambling, money laundering, murder-for-hire, bankruptcy or securities fraud, drug trafficking, copyright infringement, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country, and act of terrorism.

Before you jump on the obstruction sections be sure you fully understand what is chargeable. The section regarding obstruction of justice deals with corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavoring to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States. Obstruction of a criminal investigation deals with officers of financial intuitions who willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States. The section regarding obstruction State and local law enforcement deals specifically with the intent to facilitate an illegal gambling business.

Again I STRONGLY recommend you read and UNDERSTAND what is chargeable under RICO. After doing so, please let us know what section(s) you are proposing IB members be charged with.


Posted: Monday, April 08, 2013
Article comment by: Evil Deeds

Well, you still have not revealed any icidents outside the one in question.

When the INVESTIGATION shows they did wrong, I'll condemn them right along with you.

But if the INVESTIGATION reveals that not so much really happened, will you be man enough to admit it, or will you still cry for heads to roll?

BTW, I'm not IMBC, I don't ride, and I don't belong to any motorcycle club. I just prefer to think objectively for myself.


Posted: Monday, April 08, 2013
Article comment by: @ Alec Barry

Mr Barry, maybe you should stick to commenting on your RC planes, and Sun Dogs games. Stick to commenting on the food at the games. Or signs posted along our highways.
As far as "nobody being hurt". Maybe you should talk to the young kid that had his nose broke when he was jumped by several of the "police officers". Seems you miss the point entirely. The fact you see nothing wrong with situation is seems to be the mentality of the majority. Could have been you in the bar that night....but its all good right?


Dave Hormann



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