The Latest on @RealSheriffJoe: Woman Sues Sheriff’s Office For Being Shackled During Birth

Today's Sheriff Joe Arpaio update comes from Tucson, where Carlos Galindo broke a story on Galindo, whose calls himself Arizona's "Unapologetic Liberal' and is a local talk show host in Tucson, posted this afternoon news that a woman has filed a lawsuit against Arpaio, the Maricopa Counry Sheriff's Office, and other defendents alleging that she was shackled during childbirth when she was in custody of the MCSO.

Here is the text that Galindo cites, a press release written by the woman's lawyers:


DECEMBER 20, 2011
Phoenix, AZ

Mendiola v. Arpaio, et. al

Arizona District Court Number 11CV2512

Yesterday, through her attorneys, Miriam Mendiola-Martinez filed a federal lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa Medical Center, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Officers, and Maricopa Medical Center doctors and nurses, alleging that she was shackled by Maricopa County Sheriff’s officers during labor and after her Cesarean delivery. Her attached complaint, alleges that Sheriff Arpaio and the other defendants violated several constitutional rights, to include the Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and the right of prisoners to adequate health care.

The complaint states that in December 2009, while she was held as a prisoner in Maricopa County jails, Ms. Mendiola-Martinez was repeatedly shackled during her labor and while she recovered from a Cesarean birth. She also alleges that a MCSO deputy or correctional officer forced her to walk, with her hands and feet shackled, wearing only a hospital gown and with a bleeding surgery wound, out of the hospital and then back into the hospital while she was being discharged from the hospital.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association oppose the shackling of women in labor or recuperating from delivery. In 2008, in Nelson v. Norris, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found the shackling of women prisoners during labor to constitute cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The Arizona Department of Corrections eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor or in postpartum recovery in 2003. In 2007, the United States Marshal’s Service eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor.

Ms. Mendiola-Martinez is represented by Attorneys Joy Bertrand, Shannon Peters, and John McBee.

As of this posting, neither Arpaio nor the MCSO has commented on this suit.

Romney Makes a Top 10 Appearance on Letterman

So last night on David Letterman, GOP Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney read the show's trademark Top 10 List, and Romney even got a chance to poke fun at his opponent New Gingrich.

Here is a video of the clip below. We give Romney a solid B+. He is still a bit stiff and has some delivery issues (which some might say is consistent with his campaign), but when you have good material, it's kind of hard to mess it up.

Also, should Romney thank SNL's Seth Meyers for being able to use the REALLY? line.

The Gingrich Hypocrisy: Abolish Judicial Decisions… Unless Of Course You Agree With Them


GOP Presidential Republican candidate Newt Gingrich has officially entered the surreal world of illogical thinking. This weekend of CBS' Face the Nation, Gingrich made a case for a deep examination of the US Judicial branch, claiming that American Presidents have a duty to question unjust laws and basically ignore Supreme Court decisions. His examples?

As Gringrich explains:

I think it depends on the severity of the case. I'm not suggesting that the Congress and the President review every decision. I'm suggesting that when there are decisions, Boumediene is an example, in which they are literally risking putting civil libertiy rules in battlefields, I mean, it is utterly irrational for the Supreme Court to take on its shoulders the defense of the United States.

Once again, Gingrich's flowery historical rhetoric should be something he practices as well as just preaching. For example, many in this country are questioning the legality and civil rights fairness of new immigration measures in Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina, three laws that Gingrich has publicly stated he would have the the federal government stop investigating and interfering on the first day of a Gingrich president. So in fact, Gingrich will only fight the country's utter irrationality… when it only applies to his political views.

So, Speaker Gingrich, we will agree with you on one thing: we SHOULD question judicial decisions when we find them to be unjust and un-American. But you should be clear: you will only play that card for those decisions that are unfair to you. As for us, we will side with Lincoln and his defiance of Dred-Scott, since in 2011, the new Dred-Scott is being played in places like Phoenix, Birmingham, and Columbia. The new slavery is anti-immigrant hate that has led to unjust racial profiling against US Latino citizens. Will you defend them, Speaker Gingrich? Right now, your actions would confirm that your answer is no.

Here is a video of the interview on Face the Nation.

Phoenix Man Accuses the Office of @RealSheriffJoe of “Murdering” His Brother

It was a week that America's self-proclaimed Sheriff would like to forget. With the US Department of Justice reporting that the Joe Arpaio and his officers followed a pattern of racial profiling towards Latino citizens, the Department of Homeland Security removed Arpaio's office from the the nation's immigration database, and details about how Arpaio oversaw bothced sex crime investigations, there is now word out of Arizona that US veteran Ernest "Marty" Atencio was murdered in the jail of the Maricopa Sheriff's Office.

As the Phoenix New Times' Stephen Lemons writes today:


A distraught Mike Atencio, on his way to the hospital to watch his brother Ernest "Marty" Atencio die, told me today that he and his family believe his brother was "murdered" by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's thugs in the Fourth Avenue Jail.

"The sheriff's office murdered my brother," said Atencio, acting as spokesman for his family. "That's what I want to get out to the public right now: Sheriff Joe is murdering inmates." 

Atencio said he was told by MCSO Detective Bryan Cluff that his brother was found in his cell without a pulse. This, after being Tasered by detention officers and placed there. He was already dead before being rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

"To me it's just a ploy, what the sheriff's office has done to this point in time," Atencio told me. "They found him without a pulse. They brought him to the hospital to resuscitate him. It doesn't look very promising…He's hanging by a very thin thread."

Lemons continues:

He described his brother as being "viciously" Tasered by jail staff, causing Marty Atencio's heart attack and subsequent death.

"They did it so brutally that they put him into cardiac arrest," an angered Mike Atencio related. "And then they threw him in a cell. So after they killed him, they threw him in a cell to sit."

This contradicts the MCSO's slithery semantics from Friday, where the agency claimed Marty Atencio not die in MCSO custody. 

"What's keeping him alive is the hospital function and the life support," Mike Atencio told me. "Without the life support he would die instantly because he was dead before it even started."

Atencio said he was not sure if the family will have to make the ultimate decision to remove him from that life support today.

He wants the world to know that his brother was "the most patriotic guy on the planet," a military vet, proud of his country. He also described his brother as having "special needs," and said his brother's medication for his illness was "not balanced" at the time he was arrested.

The MCSO had interacted with Atencio's brother on minor violations in the past, and should have had record of his problems. That's assuming they cared to check.

His voice breaking, Atencio pointed the finger at the current political climate in Arizona, also noting Arpaio's pattern of racial discrimination as detailed in the recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the eyes of "Arpaio and his staff," his brother was, "just another [Hispanic]," according to Atencio.

"But not to the city of Phoenix," said Atencio, his voice breaking. "To the city of Phoenix, he was a fine American Latino."

It is clear that Arpaio is facing mounting pressure to resign from his position and the Atencio news will do very little to defend his actions.


Jesus Makes an SNL Appearance and Talks With Tebow

TebowMania is official. Jesus has spoken.

Here is the skit from last night. (For our non-US fans, click here.)

Outing Anchor Babies


Here is a guest post that we love:
By Anchor Baby Tony from
2011 has been a great year for us Anchor Babies. We made it to the cover of the New Yorker, when they depicted the first Anchor Babies of America: the Immigrant Pilgrims crossing the border into America. And we also made it into the American Heritage Dictionary! Of course, they had to write a few rough drafts to get the definition correct, and, well, it’s still not quite perfect. But instead of being negative, we want to celebrate this moment in history by Outing Anchor Babies you might note have known were Anchor Babies.

General Anchor Baby: Colin Powell – Jamaican Parents


I Thought He Was Chicano Anchor Baby: Jimmy Smits – Surinamese (Dutch) father, Puerto Rican mother

Stealing American Acting Jobs Anchor Baby: Andrew Garfield – English mother

And of course, a huge shout out to:

The Father of All Anchor Babies: Benjamin Franklin – English father




VIDEO OF THE DAY: Coldplay and “Christmas Lights” Live from Liverpool

Thank you, Coldplay, for a new Christmas song.

This was performed in a 2010 charity concert in Liverpool. May your Christmas Lights keep shining on.


Latino Rebels Are Proud to Support Capicu’s 5th Annual Pa’l Pueblo Holiday Party

Tomorrow night, Friday December 16, some of the Rebels will be celebrating with our friends from Capicu Poetry for their 5th Annual Pa'l Pueblo Holiday Party. This community event will benefit children of Brooklyn's Bushwick United Head Start "Toys for Head Start" program. If you cannot make this event, you can still make an online donation (like we will be doing) at this link: P'al Pueblo Holiday Party.


We had a chance to chat with the great George "Urban Jíbaro" Torres, one of the driving forces behind Capicu Poetry:

As a Latino blogger, why is this event to important to you personally?

"My community loves too see us in action, even though it may not be in their backyard. With Pa'l Pueblo we have been able to find former New Yorkers (many from Brooklyn) that remember similar programs from they were kids. And they help us because they remember what it was like to be that kid."

Can you share any stories of previous events and how it touched the lives of kids?

"My most touching Pa'l Pueblo story was a woman who saw me after we distributed gifts to her child's class. She told me that our gift will be rewrapped and be the only gift he would receive that Christmas.

"Here is one from the kids – just the excitement, remember these are Head Start kids that love the whole idea of Santa. I love when they sing Latino Christmas carols to us… Something really beautiful about kids of all races singing Mi Burrito Sabanero.

Why is it important to "give back"?

"I would not have had the life I had if the leaders in my community did not give back. It is so easy to move out and not look back especially when there maybe painful memories growing up under financial hardship.

"It is important to give back because you will set the example for that young person and let them know that a single act of kindness can make a difference…and it will as we continue to address our community issues one by one. 

Giving back is my way of paying homage to the placed that raised me and planted the seeds of who I am. I think we (Capicu) will always have that part of us that needs to build community through giving, but not just for the sake of giving. But to build a cycle of paying it forward.

Here is more information about the event:

Capicu Poetry in association with EvilOlive Bar has partnered together once more to host the 5th Annual Pa'L Pueblo" Charity Holiday Drive. Toy donations and proceeds from the door will benefit children of Brooklyn's Bushwick United Head Start "Toys For Head Start" program founded by Capicu Poetry. In the past, we raised enough funds for 100 kids (one Bushwick United school), but this year, we are trying to step it up and get toys for over 200 kids (two schools). The schools are really multicultural and were set up in the 70's by latino community activists for the poor and special needs kids in the hood. Sad to say that for some of these kids the one toy they get from us is the only toy they get that Christmas.

This event will be hosted by co-founder Papo Swiggity and La Sensacion, also a delicious traditional Latin cuisine, poetry, comedy and community.

**Special performances by:
Comedian Victor Cruz (Law & Order, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock & much more), 
Parranda by Brooklyns own Estampas De Boriquen, 
& Hip Hop by the son of the first latin rapper to go Platinum, CHRIS RIVERS (AKA BABY PUN)! 
Also bringing u live Tee Shirt printing by Rebelution Ink, Capicu cookie treats by Boo's Bakes, 
art by Mia ArtbyMia Roman 
and pro Photos by TainoImage! 

LIMITED OPEN MIC- Get there EARLY to sign up (before 8pm!)

MAKE SURE to get your tickets in advance at $10, they will be $15 at the door! **

IF you cannot make it and would like to donate towards the cause, please visit this link:
You can select any Sponsorship level, as an "Individual Sponsor" you can put in any amount you are willing to share.

Where at? Adonde?
December 16th, 2011
The EvilOlivE Bar
198 Union Avenue (between B'way and Montrose)
Williamsburg Brooklyn NY 11211
Doors open at 7 PM- Open Mic list closes at 8pm
**SHOWTIME at 8PM!**
Right across from the 90th Precinct
$10 in advance / $15 At The Door

Creator of the “Most Awkward Christmas Card” Says That The Joke is on You


Maybe San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini knew what he was doing when he sent of this Christmas photo of his family that instantly became an Internet classic and has quickly become the 2011 Most Awkward Christmas Photo.

As reported today in El Nuevo Día

“All publicity is good publicity,” was the first mayor’s reaction the Internet criticism of the postcard, which shows him, his wife and his children in front of a stuffed leopard devouring an antelope at the San Juan Wildlife Museum.

“Since it was shown from La Comay to CNN, portals all over the U.S., Spain, Chile, Germany, and Poland have seen the photo. Many people have altered the picture with their faces or other elements. It does not bother me because now everyone knows there is a museum dedicated to wildlife in San Juan, Puerto Rico and that is called advertising.”
Now if Santini were REALLY a marketer, he would start charging visitors to replicate the photo at the museum.

Why Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get It: His “Lean Years” as a Missionary in France


Yesterday in New Hampshire, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried to diffuse some of the criticism surrounding the “$10,000 bet” line he made at a Republican debate in Iowa on Saturday night.

One of Romney’s problems is that he is seen as being out of touch with most Americans, and it appears that his spiraling campaign is grasping at straws now, but you decide. Here is a video of what he said in Hudson, N.H.

Nonetheless, Romney completed his missionary work during the height of the Vietnam War.