The Pima County Sheriff's Department has suddenly turned off the flow of information in the January 8th mass shootings in Tucson. Shortly after noon Tuesday Sheriff's PIO Jason Ogan released this terse, one-line statement:
"Until further notice, due to a controversy between the Sheriff's Department and the County Attorney's office, no further information reference the January 8, 2011 shooting will be released."
The statement put an end to an interview by Sheriff's Bureau Chief Richard Kastigar that had been scheduled for just 45 minutes later, at 1:00 PM. Kastigar had agreed to come to KGUN9's newsroom to discuss security video recorded in the Safeway parking lot the morning a deranged gunman opened fire, killing 6 people and wounding or injuring 14 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. CNN had booked a live interview with Kastigar, to be conducted by journalist Wolf Blitzer.
The word "controversy" contained in the statement would seem to imply some sort of disagreement or discord between the Sheriff's Department and the office of County Attorney Barbara LaWall. But the statement did not elaborate about the nature of the controversy. When contacted by KGUN9 News, LaWall's office declined to comment.
The statement cuts off what had been a generous and open flow of information from the Sheriff's Department -- information that has at times captivated the entire nation. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has been making the local and national media rounds himself for days, appearing on CNN as recently as Tuesday. On Saturday Kastigar appeared in an ABC News town hall meeting on the shooting aftermath, hosted by network anchor Christiane Amanpour, which was broadcast to the nation on Sunday.
Kastigar has been quoted recently as saying that the security tapes from the morning of the shooting were crystal clear and showed exactly what happened when a lone gunman opened fire.
The sheriff's department had been so diligent about sharing information with the public that it established a web page just for information about the shooting. That web page is still available -- with the most recent posting advising of the information shut-off.
RECALL PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF CLARENCE DUPNIK
On January 12, 2011 it was announced that Americans Against Immigration Amnesty will lead an effort to recall Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik.
Tucson take a stand! We have learned through history that tragedies will bring out the best and the worst of Americans and our leaders. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is a shining example of the latter. We received an overwhelming response to our Monday show from residents of Pima County asking that we lead an effort to recall Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for his abject failures in office. As a result of that response, we have completed our research and concluded that the recall of the Sheriff is both warranted and allowed by Arizona law. In that regard, we have prepared the petitions and will begin the work of gathering the required signatures to recall Sheriff Dupnik.
If you are a registered voter in Pima County, Arizona and would like to volunteer to gather signatures to put this measure on the ballot, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tags: Pima, County, Sheriff, Gags, Employees, in, Mass, Shooting, Case, controversy, RECALL, PIMA, COUNTY, SHERIFF, CLARENCE, DUPNIK,
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