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Phoenix Mayor Under 24/7 Police Watch

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

May 27, 2010

PHOENIX – Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is under 24/7 police surveillance after receiving a slew of death threats against him following his opposition to the state’s tough immigration law, the Arizona Republic reports.

Gordon has called attention to the possible economic hit Phoenix could take if boycotts and lawsuits pile up in the wake of Senate Bill 1070, which Gov. Jan Brewer signed last month, forcing state and local police to enforce the federal government’s immigration laws. One threat leveled was death by sniper fire, a city police official said.

“They’re talking about wanting to kill him, punch him,” Jeff Hynes, who oversees the security detail for the Phoenix Police Professional Standards bureau and is a 30-year police veteran, said.

“This is a (suspect) who’s maintained a consistency to his threats,” he told the newspaper.

The mayor said he cannot leave the sight of his bodyguards, not even to go food shopping, during the three weeks of his stepped-up security detail.

The city won’t reveal details of Gordon’s increased security, though Hynes said the police were using overtime to help defray the costs. He said the city usually spends about $500,000 a year to protect its mayor.

Judicial Watch, a Washington-based non-profit against government corruption, is looking into the matter, which has already called the security measure “excessive.”

“He’s not the president of the United States,” Tom Fitton, the organization’s president, said. “He’s a local mayor and this is basic information we’re asking.”

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