Steve Daniels Wiki – Steve Daniels Biography
Steve Daniels, chair of the Patriot Party of Arizona, was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing after a school representative and police officers asked Daniels to leave the district office and he refused.
A video of the exchange, which Daniels recorded and was later posted to YouTube, shows Daniels and dozens of community members outside the district office on Frye Road protesting the use of critical race theory in the classroom.
Critical race theory seeks to highlight how historical inequities and racism continue to shape public policy and social conditions, but critics often conflate it with culturally responsive teaching or any diversity and inclusion efforts in K-12 schools.
Steve Daniels Age
Steve Daniels‘s age is unknown.
Arrested – Charges
In the video, Daniels and an unnamed woman become upset after allegedly not being allowed into the meeting, which Daniels says is an open meeting law violation. Two officers are heard in the video telling them that they can livestream the meeting and one officer tells the woman to get a phone when she tells them she doesn’t have one on her to watch.
“These are tyrannical police officers that don’t know the law and they are protecting the tyrannical government,” Daniels tells an increasingly raucous crowd before comparing the officers to Nazis.
The arrest comes as parents and conservative groups challenge school boards across the state on diversity and equity initiatives and mask policies. The controversy has led to recall efforts and allegations of open meeting law violations in Litchfield Elementary School District and has been spotlighted by local conservative talk radio host James Harris on his program.
Daniels, who has been involved in the Purple for Parents movement that served as a counterweight to the teacher-led Red for Ed movement that resulted in a teacher walkout in 2018, has attended school board meetings in Litchfield Park and Scottsdale to address the topic.
He declined to comment on the arrest, citing the open case.
District seeks to address rumors
Critical race theory was not on the board’s meeting agenda. But as rumors have swirled that the district is using the academic framework in classrooms, the school board decided to address it head-on.
In an announcement near the start of the meeting, Board President Barb Mozden said the district is not teaching critical race theory and neither the board nor administration has discussed implementing critical race theory in the curriculum. Her statement was included in the board agenda that was posted online.
“Critical race theory has not been on our agenda and is not on our agenda this evening,” Mozden said. “If you have concerns about classroom instruction, we encourage you to let our schools or district office know so that we can look into the matter.”
After Mozden’s remarks, the board heard close to an hour of public comments from community members who supported and opposed various diversity initiatives. But outside, Daniels and others appeared to become increasingly agitated as they couldn’t get into the meeting.
In Daniels’ livestream, which appears to start before the school board meeting started, Daniels says people are standing outside the district building and weren’t being allowed in. The gate to the building appears to be closed in the video, and Daniels says police have blocked off the parking lot with squad cars.
“Apparently they’re not going to let anybody into the meeting,” he says in the video and later states that people have to wait outside for their turn to speak during public comments. “I’m pretty sure based on open meeting laws they need to allow everybody in here to watch.”
CUSD has limited in-person attendance at board meetings since last June because of the coronavirus pandemic, although meetings are streamed online. Capacity is capped at 30 people and seats fill up on a first-come, first-served basis. People can wait in the lobby where the meeting is being broadcast or outside until they’re called, a district spokesperson said.
About 40 minutes after Daniels started recording, Daniels and an unnamed woman are seen talking to officers and complaining that they can’t watch the meeting.
A woman, who identifies herself as an employee of the district, asks Daniels to leave the property, but he refuses and asks her to back off. Officers then ask Daniels to leave the premises and attempt to arrest him when he doesn’t, the video shows.
“They’re using force on me,” he says in the video and accuses an officer of assaulting him.
Daniels became one of the key figures in rallies to re-open Arizona and end pandemic restrictions on businesses ordered by Gov. Doug Ducey as public health measures designed to halt the spread of COVID-19. During at least one of those rallies, Daniels likened law enforcement to Nazis.
He filed paperwork to recall Ducey, but that effort went nowhere.
Daniels also helped run the failed U.S. Senate campaign of Daniel McCarthy, who was defeated by a nearly 3-to-1 margin in the Republican primary by Martha McSally. McSally would go on to lose the general election to Democrat Mark Kelly. McCarthy and other local conservative figures rose to Daniels’ defense on social media after the arrest.
State Sen. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, said she was seeking body camera footage from Chandler police officers of the incident.
“It will be interesting to see if his rights were violated, and important for the Legislature to know and consider,” she wrote on Twitter.