Mesa, AZ — The Mesa police department held a vote this week in which 95 percent of the entire department voted to remove chief Ramon Batista for no confidence. Batista wasn’t caught molesting kids, or driving drunk, or abusing his power. This police chief was trying to hold violent problem cops within the department accountable, and for this, he is being outed.
“He is no longer welcome in the Mesa Police Department. He is no longer welcome in our home and we’d like him to leave,” said Nate Gafvert, President with the Mesa Police Association.
The trouble for Batista started last year when he attempted to hold the officers accountable who attacked an innocent man waiting for an elevator. Because he crossed the blue line and called out the brutality for what it was, the entire department turned on him.
The union had no problem explaining exactly why they wanted him out—because he tries to keep cops from hurting innocent people. But the cops called this accountability by the chief “intimidation.”
“Morale has never been worse at the Mesa Police Department,” said Will Biascoechea, President of Mesa Fraternal Order of Police, in the statement. “Through his ineffective leadership and intimidation of police officers, Chief Batista has created a toxic environment that puts both police officers and citizens in danger.”
As FOX 10 reports, in a statement released Wednesday, the Mesa Fraternal Order of Police said of the 564 police department employees who responded to the vote, 95% of them said they had no confidence in Chief Batista, with only 23 employees saying they had confidence in the chief.
Despite trying to hold Mesa police officers accountable, Batista has been incredibly ineffective, and now, we likely know why—the entire department thinks accountability amounts to intimidation.
This is in spite of the fact that the Mesa police department is an incredibly violent unit. As TFTP has previously reported, this is the same department that responded to the hotel room of an innocent unarmed father and murdered him on video as he begged for his life on his knees.
In March of 2016, Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder for gunning down Daniel Shaver, an innocent husband, and father of two. The shooting was captured on body cam footage, part of which was released the following May. In December of 2017, a jury, apparently blinded by the badge delivered a verdict of not guilty.
The Mesa police department is the same department who was seen on video savagely attacking an innocent grandmother, leading to her hospitalization. After they hurt this innocent grandmother, police actually went to the hospital to intimidate her.
The Mesa police department is the same department whose officers were caught on video viciously attacking an innocent man trying to get on an elevator.
As TFTP reported at the time, a shocking video surfaced out of Mesa in May of 2018 showing a half-dozen cops jump an unarmed and non-violent man—punching him in the head until he falls unconscious to the floor. No officers were held accountable for the beating of Robert Johnson.
“That’s not the training expectations that I have for officers in a situation where somebody doesn’t want to sit down,” said Chief Batista at the time.
This comment was apparently akin to intimidation if you ask the union. And calling out bad cops who viciously beat an innocent man is “throwing officers under the bus” and makes cops hurt citizens.
“Throwing our officers under the bus and making dramatic changes to how things are done overnight does nothing but cause to hesitate, and hesitation gets officers and citizens hurt and killed,” said Gafvert.
Naturally, the public and Johnson disagree.
“What Mesa Police did to Mr. Johnson has caused a permanent scarring, physically and mentally to him,” said Benjamin Taylor, an attorney for Johnson. “These officers should have been fired, should have been in the court of law facing criminal charges with what they did.”
But they were not. Not a single one of these officers faced a lick of discipline for what they did.
“When the Mesa Police Union is going up against their chief, when the chief is trying to change their culture and when you have a chief trying to change their culture, the community, the mayor the city council should support that,” said Taylor.
Another union head then had the audacity to claim the cops in the Mesa police department — who have beaten and killed countless people including innocent grandmothers and unarmed innocent fathers — are the victims.
“Everybody talks about the victims. Well, our officers are the victims,” said Will Biascoechea, President of the Mesa Fraternal Order of Police.
Playing victim when there are literally pools of blood left behind by these officers — from innocent people — is a kick in the teeth to all that is just.
This situation shows the problem with policing. It is not just one bad apple either. That is inaccurate. In this case 95 percent of the department is acting out in support of bad apples, in turn, making them all bad apples. Until this culture of protecting bad cops is brought to a halt, we can continue to see this problem get worse until American police departments are completely filled with violent unaccountable criminals perpetually playing the victim card.
Live: Leaders from the Mesa Police Association and Mesa Fraternal Order of Police discuss vote of no confidence against Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista.PREVIOUSLY: https://12ne.ws/2ESmYEE
Posted by 12 News on Wednesday, June 5, 2019