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Watch the Video: Did Arias Flip Dyer the Bird? The Parties React.



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It was no April Fool’s Day joke. And it’s two-week-old image still reverberating in Fresno political circles.
The usual pomp and circumstance took place at an April 1 groundbreaking for a new police substation in southeast Fresno — speeches, smiles, and shovels.
But an image, captured on an Instagram account and reposted on Twitter by Fresno conservatives Alex Tavlian and Brooke Ashjian, shows city councilman Miguel Arias, a progressive, with his middle finger extended and apparently directed at Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

“I was just wiping sweat away from my forehead,” Arias said, recounting the incident. Using his middle finger was coincidental and unintended. He does admit he and Dyer have a jovial relationship with each other, often joking around.
What’s most interesting, perhaps, is that either way, Dyer took no offense. In fact, the chief responds with a smile.
“I don’t know what his intent was, but I took it as a humorous gesture,” Dyer tells GV Wire.
GV Wire was there too, and we found the video. Watch by clicking on the image above and judge for yourself.

Bredefeld Remarks on Gesture

Arias’ council colleague Garry Bredefeld stirred the controversy when he reposted the initial “#1” salute last Friday to his Twitter account.
“Miguel Arias showing his true character and feelings towards Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and law enforcement. Absolutely pathetic!” Bredefeld wrote.

This stems from a political disagreement between the two. Last Wednesday (April 10), Bredefeld and Arias stood side by side at a news conference promoting a resolution to post signs discouraging panhandling at city intersections.

A day later, hoping for unanimity of council support that didn’t yet exist, Arias voted no. That rankled Bredefeld, who posted numerous Twitter follow-ups deriding Arias’ vote.
Arias says others are blowing the incident out of proportion.
Update, 4/16/2019, 4 p.m.: after watching the video, Bredefeld added this statement:
“The video tells the truth and once again, Councilman Arias is disingenuous with the public. He clearly is talking to Chief Dyer and then gives him the finger which Chief Dyer ignores. His conduct reflects poorly on him and he owes Chief Dyer an apology.”

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email