Arizona Dem prosecutor candidate Julie Gunnigle and her campaign aides support police defunding, posts reveal

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A left-leaning Arizona attorney candidate trying to lead the nation’s third-largest prosecutor’s office and several of her campaign staffers have voiced support for defunding the police, according to a Fox News Digital review of videos and stories. social media posts.

Julie Gunnigle, the Democratic candidate for Maricopa County district attorney, is vying to take the reins of the district attorney’s office while running on a progressive platform that includes prosecuting police officers through an independent unit in use of force cases, his campaign website says.

Gunnigle’s pledge targeting law enforcement follows his past rhetoric against officers and their unions. Gunnigle has expressed support for the withdrawal and redirection of their funds, including redirecting at least $25 million from the Phoenix Police Department.

Asked about her stance on the move two years ago, Gunnigle said ‘Arizonans don’t want militarized policing’ and added that she was a supporter of ’25 Saves Phoenix Lives’, a strategic reinvestment plan which would take $25 million from the police.

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Julie Gunnigle, a liberal activist and Democratic candidate for Maricopa County attorney, has repeatedly voiced her support for defunding the police.
(Photo by Matt Young/Getty Images)

“You know, I’m listening to this moment and standing with people who are protesting, and I think the voice here is loud and clear: Arizonans don’t want militarized police. So I’ve been a supporter of ‘ 25 Saves Phoenix Lives,” which is a $25 million strategic reinvestment in youth and mental health programs,” she said in a March 2020 interview with The Appeal posted on Facebook.

Months later, Gunnigle answered a question about whether she supported cutting police budgets at city council level or if she would support such calls. In response, she doubled down on her support for the initiative to siphon off local law enforcement resources.

Gunnigle also said it was “wrong” to “take endorsements and take money” from police unions and officers. The Arizona Democrat, meanwhile, wants to defund and abolish school resource officers.

“We have over-incarcerated our young people as well as our adults, but we have also done it in a particularly poor way with the inclusion of ORS in our schools,” she said in a June 2020 interview.

“So one of the things that I’ve been focusing on is, what should be the role of law enforcement in our schools? And I’m in favor of, number one, eliminating ORS and redirecting that money to School counselors So many of our students go to schools without counselors or nurses, and they should be the first responders when it comes to resolving student issues.”

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Gunnigle has also surrounded herself with anti-cop campaign staff in her quest to become Maricopa County’s top prosecutor, videos and social media posts show.

Bruce Franks Jr., his campaign manager, supports police abolition and said “cops are conspiring to screw up the lives of their constituents,” according to his posts.

“Stop trying to reform the f—— police! Defund and Abolish!” he posted on Facebook in April 2021. “When we say DEFUND the police, f— your rebuttals on why that doesn’t make sense,” he wrote on Facebook the same month.

Julie Gunnigle's campaign manager Bruce Franks Jr. told his Facebook audience to

Julie Gunnigle’s campaign manager, Bruce Franks Jr., told his Facebook audience, “Stop trying to reform the f—— police! Defund and Abolish!” in an April 2021 article.
(Screenshot by Bruce Franks Jr./Facebook)

Franks, a Democratic state representative from Missouri from 2016 to 2019, previously recorded rap videos of shooting and stabbing people to death, the Reported daily call in 2017.

“I let them go if they speak out, I put a shotty on their bodies, I send them straight to the Reverend! I put them in a cast, put them in a body bag, tie them to the bag of the Chrysler and then it’s body dragged!” Franks raps freestyle in one of the videos. “A n—said my name, he’s going to get killed!”

Franks has raised more than $28,000 through Gunnigle’s campaign, according to Maricopa County campaign fundraising records. Gunnigle’s committee paid $4,285 to Blaque Printing, which Franks incorporated in 2021, according to state filings. Franks directly pocketed $24,000 for counseling services, according to local records.

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Julie Gunnigle's campaign manager, Bruce Franks Jr., called for defunding the police in an April 2021 article.

Julie Gunnigle’s campaign manager, Bruce Franks Jr., called for defunding the police in an April 2021 article.
(Screenshot by Bruce Franks Jr./Facebook)

Gunnigle campaign spokeswoman Dawn Penich-Thacker also backed the fundraising move and called the Arizona police officers a “national embarrassment” and a “threat.”

“Now – immediately, on your next vote – we need culture change. We need job changes. We need massive budget denials and reallocations to social services, mental health care and community services that we really need,” Penich-Thacker said at a June 2022 Tempe City Council meeting.

“We need you to hold the department accountable, to show us to your residents that you genuinely care that our police force is a national disgrace for their failures and abuses and a threat to too many in our community. “, she said.

During the meeting, Penich-Thacker said she was ‘horrified’ by the Tempe Police Department, accusing them of having a culture of ‘misconduct, neglect, abuse of power and murder’ , in reference to the 2019 shooting involving an officer of 14-year-old Antonio Acre, who was killed while running away and holding a replica of a 1911 airsoft gun, Arizona Central reported.

According to her LinkedIn profile, she served as a member of the advisory board for the Civilian Review Board overseeing the Tempe Police Department. Gunnigle’s campaign gave Penich-Thacker $4,600 for consulting services.

“Julie Gunnigle does not have a police funding platform and notes that the county attorney has no role in allocating the budget for law enforcement in Maricopa County,” Penich said. -Thatcher at Fox News Digital.

“She supports the personal First Amendment rights of all Americans, including staff and volunteers,” Penich-Thatcher said in response to questions about their anti-police views.

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Gunnigle’s campaign also provided $6,000 in consulting payments to progressive activist and field staffer Sophia Carrillo Dahl. Like the others, she also supports defunding the police and called the Phoenix police “trash,” according to tweets.

“Billions of dollars are spent each year on policing while public education is not fully funded,” she wrote in July 2020. #DefundThePolice”

Additionally, in July, Carrillo Dahl tweeted that the police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be abolished.

Gunnigle is trying his second chance to land in the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office after narrowly losing the 2020 election. In the 2020 race, his campaign paid $354,000 to the E Street Group, a consulting firm Co-owned by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband, Tim Mynett, records show.

Mynett expressed his unwavering support for Gunnigle following his loss.

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“[Julie Gunnigle] you ran an inspired campaign that you and all Arizonans can be proud of,” Mynett tweeted to him after the loss. “My heart breaks with these results, but the courage, strength and class you have shown are extraordinary. Count me among your lifelong supporters, no matter what you decide to work on.”

Gunnigle takes on Maricopa County Acting Republican District Attorney Rachel Mitchell in the November special election.

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