I fully expect the “Free Clarence Dupnik” movement to start in 3 … 2 … 1 …

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 that Sheriff’s Bureau Chief Richard Kastigar had been scheduled to give just 45 minutes later, at 1:00 PM.  Kastigar had agreed to come to KGUN9’s newsroom to discuss security videos 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 satellite interview with Kastigar, to be conducted by journalist Wolf Blitzer.

Awwwww.  Obviously, the Pima County Attorney Office has its priorities all wrong.  Don’t they know that they’re wasting an opportunity to get Pima County and its sheriff in the national news?  Isn’t that their highest priority?  It certainly seems to be a higher priority for Sheriff Dupnik than, say, running a professional and objective investigation.

Actually, the county attorney appears to have another priority in mind:

As KGUN9 News has reported, some critics have suggested that some statements from the Sheriff’s Department — particularly those from Sheriff Clarence Dupnik — could serve to work against prosecutors.

Gee, you mean having the man who’s ostensibly in charge of the investigation going on national TV to blame Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin might complicate the case for the people who have to prosecute it?  No kidding!  (via the Boss Emeritus)