An argumentative Phoenix city councilman was stopped by the Arizona State University Police- and told the officers he felt he had no business being given a citation and would have the officers fired over the ticket.
Police reports and body camera footage, however, tells a different story.
Councilman Carlos Garcia, who represents District 8 and was recently elected into the position, was stopped by two ASU officers on September 10 after he was spotted driving near the campus.
“I don’t believe you have jurisdiction,” Garcia told one officer. “I need an explanation as to what you were doing parked at the Bank of America running plates.”
Officer Armenta, the responding officer who initiated the stop and filed the report, explained that due to the proximity of the campus to the parking lot, the ASU officers have jurisdiction. He then asked for license, registration, and proof of insurance.
“I have a meeting to go to,” said Garcia. “So, I prefer you do this as quick as possible.”
Armenta soon discovered a discrepancy with Garcia’s vehicle information and began to issue a citation.
“There was no expiration date on the document and it did not readily show vehicle information,” the officer wrote in his report, obtained by ABC15. “The insurance company confirmed that there was a policy number, however, it was canceled for nonpayment as of August 19 of 2019.”
Refusing to sign the ticket, Garcia continued to argue with officers Armenta and Montgomery, who repeatedly explained that they had jurisdiction and were certified throughout the state of Arizona.
Garcia then asked the timeless question so often uttered by people in positions of power: “Do you want to see who I am?”
Political expert Stan Barnes reviewed the footage and said that such a statement is a red flag.
“The elected official who plays the, ‘Do you know who I am card?’ is an elected official that is suffering from a lack of understanding of their office,” said Barnes. “I think it makes him continually radioactive as someone to try to do business with, try to make decisions on the city council. It colors everything in a very bad way and will probably hurt his own relationships with other councilmen that are needed in order for the city to function.”
Garcia denies disputing the citation and claimed the September stop triggered feelings in him related to immigration rights and race.
“I thought as an immigrant rights activist and a police accountability activist for a long time, I’m concerned that a stop like that can end up in deportation proceedings or escalating to something else,” he stated.
Garcia then went on to suggest ASU Police patrol the campus, and stay off the streets of Phoenix.
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