Despite warnings, safeguard to prevent extremist training for law enforcement removed
A rule change that lowers the bar for extremist organizations to radicalize law enforcement through training was enacted on April 5, despite a series of letters from civil rights groups urging Arizona’s governor and attorney general to take preemptive action. The groups are particularly worried about so-called “constitutional sheriff” training, which they say contains false and dangerous misinformation about the role of law enforcement.
The uncounted: People of color are dying at much higher rates than what COVID data suggests
Unspecific, unknown deaths rose 10 times more among Black, Hispanic and Indigenous people than among white Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new analysis.
Community response helped reverse COVID’s devastating toll on Indigenous communities in Arizona
When COVID-19 first hit the U.S. in early 2020, urban centers like New York City became a focus of national attention. But as the disease spread throughout the U.S. later that spring, the Navajo Nation emerged as a disease hotspot, with case rates rising higher than anywhere else in the country. Newly compiled data reveals…
EDUCATION SUSPENDED: BLOCKED FROM CLASS FROM MISSING CLASS
Suspending students for absences, tardies compounds learning loss
Suspending students for missing class, whether it’s because they showed up late, cut midday or were absent from school entirely, is a controversial tactic. At least 17 states forbid schools from suspending students for attendance problems at some level—if kids aren’t in class, they aren’t learning. Yet the practice is pervasive in Arizona, a first-of-its-kind AZCIR/Hechinger analysis has found, with students missing tens of thousands of additional school days as a result.
an azcir series about ‘constitutional sheriffs’
Arizona ‘ground zero’ for extremist, anti-government sheriff movement
More than half of Arizona’s county sheriffs are at least partially aligned with a growing movement of so-called “constitutional sheriffs,” with an ideology that threatens to radicalize law enforcement by indoctrinating them with false legal theories about a sheriff’s authority over state and federal government, and a duty to nullify laws they interpret as unconstitutional. A shift toward amplifying misinformation about widespread voter fraud has experts sounding the alarm.
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Pandemic accelerated Arizona’s years-long decline in childhood vaccination rates￼
The impact of missed preventative medical care during the pandemic is beginning to emerge in the form of drastic declines in childhood vaccination rates among Arizona youth, now at lower levels than at any point in the past decade. The plummeting rates follow a years-long decline in immunizations among Arizona students overall—one that has put residents of all ages at heightened risk of infection from largely preventable communicable diseases.
Report: Child care woes cost Arizona economy $1.8 billion a year
Arizona parents representing various geographic areas, income levels, and racial and ethnic backgrounds reported changing jobs, turning down jobs, decreasing their hours, forgoing promotions or leaving the workforce entirely as a result of inconsistent or unaffordable care.
A Place That Should Know Better
Arnold v. Sarn, a class action lawsuit that called for services for people with serious mental illness regardless of cost, celebrates its fortieth birthday in 2021. The litigation ended in 2014 with a settlement agreement that largely replaced “shall” with “may,” encouraging the system to try its best while softening requirements, and permanently doing away with a court monitor—the last remnant of robust accountability that had been in place for decades. Now Charles “Chick” Arnold, the lead plaintiff, says the agreement should have been more aggressive. An AZCIR series by Amy Silverman
State, county policies impact rejected ballot rates in November election
Election officials didn’t count 27,327 ballots cast by Arizona voters in the November election, rejecting more than twice the 10,457 votes that flipped the state for President-elect Joe Biden in what was the closest raw vote margin of any state in the nation. The uncounted votes, which are legally rejected by officials for reasons such…
Arizona doctors wary of controversial ivermectin treatment for COVID-19
Experts say absent credible studies, ivermectin is an unproven treatment for COVID-19 and can cause dangerous side effects. The drug is approved by the FDA as an antiparasitic for humans and animals. Now one group is urging Gov. Doug Ducey to make ivermectin immediately available to populations at high risk for COVID-19.
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Arizona-based sheriff group promotes members with ties to white nationalism
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has formally embraced some of its more radical members by promoting them into leadership positions. The public-facing change comes at a time of growth for the organization as it seeks to further expand its influence and ideology across the U.S.