Two independent probes into the Phoenix PD have been completed, and its chief has been suspended for a day due to their findings. Per the 37-page report by the Ballard Spahr law firm, released Thursday by City Manager Ed Zuercher, one of the probes confirmed earlier whispers that a "challenge coin" had been released and exchanged in 2017, when then-President Trump paid the Arizona city a visit. Per the Arizona Republic and FOX 10, the coin—typically a large coin or medallion that carries a group's logo, emblem, or insignia on it—showed a man getting shot in the groin with a pepper ball, with the words "Good Night Left Nut." On the back of the coin appeared the phrase: "Making America Great Again One Nut at a Time." The man depicted on the coin is believed to be protester Josh Cobin, who was struck by a smoke canister during a Trump visit in 2017.
The report points out the the phrase "Good Night Left Nut" is similar to the neo-Nazi phrase "Good Night Left Side," though investigators say there was no proof police officers got that association with hate speech. It's not 100% clear who bought and distributed the coins, though investigators suspect a female sergeant and her husband, a former detective. The other case investigated by Ballard Spahr involved the Phoenix PD's ties to a criminal case in which 15 demonstrators involved in a downtown Phoenix protest in October 2020 were falsely charged as gang members, per AZFamily.com. Due to the findings of that investigation, Chief Jeri Williams received a one-day suspension, while the coin probe earned Williams a letter of reprimand from the city manager. Three assistant chiefs were also removed from their roles as a result of the protester-linked probe. There may be further disciplinary action on the coin after the city manager and HR department's own probe. (Read more police officers stories.)