Probe: Phoenix Cops Had a Controversial 'Challenge Coin'

Investigation wraps up into cop-shared coins depicting protester getting shot in the groin
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2021 2:15 PM CDT
Probe: Phoenix Cops Had a Controversial 'Challenge Coin'
A photo of the challenge coin in question.   (Court documents, via Arizona Republic)

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 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.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.