Phoenix Jones with a fan on the street.
Early Sunday morning Rain City Superhero Movement Phoenix Jones ran into a bar brawl and was subsequently detained by police. I was there to witness the whole thing and have been offering small updates all week.
But I haven't been the only one interested in the story- there has been a media explosion over the incident. Every Seattle media outlet has been following the story and it has caught on with media around the world.
This has led to Phoenix Jones picking up a large number of supporters on the internet- his official Facebook fan page has close to 34,000 fans from around the world. Some have replaced their own avatar with his picture or posted their own Phoenix Jones fan art.
A sample of some messages on his fan page wall:
"Pow Bam Kaboom......Bringing old sckool whip azz back! I LUV IT"
"Puerto Rico, USA supports you. Come here to inspire other people."
"You have restored my faith in humanity and made me realise there are still people in the world who actually care for others. I have so much respect for you!"
"Keep up the good work, Brother. Don't let the man bring you down."
"dude i just found out seattle has a super hero, i pray you stay safe and protected."
"Hats off to ya, man. A ton of people live in the world...Not many wanting to save it. Be strong, be safe!"
"Steven Seagal should support you,that would be AWESOME"
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The Rain City Superhero Movement will try to tap into some of this good will tonight for a Community Patrol. The Facebook event page reads:
Phoenix Jones, Purple Reign, and the rest of the Rain City Superheros would like to invite the community to patrol this weekend, Saturday 10pm 1st and Pike. The patrol will be approximately 2 hours. We'd like everyone to come and show their support while seeing how our evening patrols operate and ask any questions about what we do. If any crimes are witnessed we encourage you to call 911 and act as a witness. We do not want anyone to get hurt, if there are any altercations the RCSM team will step in to deescalate.
As of this posting, 17 people have indicated they "are attending."
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Heroes in the Night is finding a mixed legacy on the responding officer who arrested Phoenix Jones, Officer Camilo DePina. He was awarded as "Officer of the Month" by a Seattle television station in 2008 for successfully talking a suicidal woman off a bridge while off duty.
However, he was sued in 2010 for excessive force in a 2007 incident. In that incident a man, Dewoyne Lowe, had an argument with a security guard at a restaurant. According to KOMO news, court documents allege this story:
As Lowe began walking away, DePina cut him off with his patrol car, the suit alleges. The officer slammed Lowe's head, face-first, into the ground, cuffed him, then threw him onto the hood of the patrol car, (Lowe's attorney) said.
DePina punched Lowe in the groin and "continued his assault in the presence of Officer (Christopher) Christman at the police station by slamming Mr. Lowe's head into the counter multiple times," said (Lowe's attorney) in a written statement.
Phoenix Jones says that he has encountered Officer DePina before. Jones alleges that he called in a bag of drugs he found on the street. He says that DePina responded, told Jones to "go home" and drove away. Jones alleges he again met DePina when he had one of his team members act as an "undercover agent" to buy drugs off a dealer. Jones says DePina responded and told him "I've had enough of this vigilante bullshit" and refused to book the dealer.
(Source: Interview on The John Curley Show.)