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Justice for Sheriff Joe?

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Pardon me while I enjoy the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth as the Obama Justice Department investigates Sheriff Joe. I’ve always prided myself on my intellectual honesty. Therefore, I am pleased to announced that I finally approve of something the Obama Administration is doing. 

‘… the United States Department of Justice is commencing an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (''MCSO'') pursuant to the pattern or practice provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. §14141 ("Section 14141") and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,42 U.S.C. § 3789d ("Safe Streets Act"), and pursuant to the prohibitions against national origin discrimination in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d to 2000d-7 ("Title Yr') and the Safe Streets Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3789d(c)." …”

Unfortunately, like the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight, once again they are blowing it. When people have no moral center, and not actual grounding in the reality of the world, only the engine of political correctness, to guide them, they have a tendency to get it wrong. They did the same thing with their attacks on Rush Limbaugh. Instead of diminishing him, his ratings have never been higher. And, unfortunately they are going to do the same thing with Sheriff Joe. Can you say “martyr”?

The Gang Who Can’t Shoot Straight is going after Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the various and sundry Civil Rights violations in his department. In case you have been living on the former planet, Pluto for the past few years, you, the reader, are probably familiar with Sheriff Joe’s own little version of immigration reform. It’s quite simple. You profile ‘em, arrest ‘em, and deport ‘em.

Then again, someone may be trying to separate Republicans from what little remains of the Hispanic vote, because the targeting of Sheriff Joe, no matter how well deserved, is going to be a rallying cry for the hereto for silent anti-immigration freak show of hate. No matter that the hard-line anti-immigration forces have little to do with the Republican Party, the extreme right third party, independent folks are bound and determined to destroy the GOP.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been one of the most vocal “conservative” Republicans on the anti-Sheriff Joe bandwagon. I’m thinking I created it. The man is deplorable. He also is almost delusional. Sheriff Joe told CNS News:

“…“I will not back down. What I am doing is upholding the laws of the state of Arizona, and I will not be persuaded to turn my back on my oath of office as sheriff of this county.”…

It really doesn’t matter of tens of thousands of criminal warrants go un-served. The tens of millions of dollars paid out for miscellaneous wrongful deaths of prisoners in Sheriff Joe’s custody don’t count for much. The abuse of justice that Sheriff Joe embraces in Maricopa County is simply a little sticking point. Sheriff Joe is being investigated for racial profiling and the violation of civil rights. And – those violations have been flagrant and numerous.

My personal favorite took place on Good Friday, 2008. That day, the most solemn and one of the most sacred holy days for those of us who are Christian, Sheriff Joe decided to harass and profile Christians – Catholics, as they went to church for Good Friday services and Confirmation. As an Episcopalian, I was very proud of Arizona Bishop Kirk Smith, who joined forces with the local Catholic hierarchy and a local Rabbi in attempting to quell Sheriff Joe’s reign of terror. As a Republican, I am ashamed of the fact that no Republican stood up to join them and condemn Sheriff Joe’s deplorable actions. One can only imagine what possessed the man to intimidate and harass Hispanic parishioners arriving for services on the most holy day of the Christian year.

Then there is the tale about the guy who was suffering from TB.  Just ask Robert Daniels about the way Sheriff Joe handles “inmates” who have tuberculosis. It’s a wonder Daniels even survived the merciful treatment Sheriff Joe provided, but then the (no longer called enemy combatants) detainees at Gitmo are treated better than Sheriff Joe treats his prisoners, but then Sheriff Joe is trying to save the tax-payers just a little bit of money.

FYI, Sheriff Joe has saved so darn much money that his jails are no longer accredited, but he’s saving money. It doesn’t really matter if he’s providing sub-standard health care. They’re prisoners. Who cares if they live or die, right?

Did you hear the one about the shooting of Juan Mendoza Farias? He was handcuffed and alone in one of Sheriff Joe’s cells when guards opened the door, and fired at least a dozen pepper balls at him. They fired Taser stun guns at him dozens of times, then blasted him with a massive amount of mace from a container like a fire extinguisher. Two hours later, after 11 other guards went at it with him, he died.  Oh, and he was a legal immigrant, with a legal Social Security number. The reason for all the “over kill” (pardon the pun)? It seems like Farias was “acting crazy”. H was having seizures, but Sheriff Joe’s valiant guards rarely resort to sending their bad guy prisoners for medical attention. It costs too much. Besides, they were waiting to hear back from ICE, determined to find a reason for Farias to be considered an “illegal”, but then that’s Sheriff Joe for you, always looking out for the decent people of Maricopa County.

Sheriff Joe had a nifty way of keeping down the population of Maricopa County. Just ask Ambrett Spencer about the care she received while she was serving time for drunk driving, having entered the jail, pregnant with a healthy baby girl. Baby Ambria Renee was dead because Ambrett Spencer did not receive the proper medical attention when she begged for it. It’s a common practice in Sheriff Joe’s jails, but then he’s saving the people of Maricopa County money, right?

Evidently the water in one of the Detention Centers is filthy and has been infected with mice feces, since 2005. They carry a parasite  (the same parasite in kitty litter) that causes birth defects.

In October of 2008 a Federal Judge ruled that Sheriff Joe’s current jail conditions violate the US Constitution when it comes to health care, overcrowding, and access to medication.  And pregnant women? Well, they’re given an extra blanket, a lower bunk, an inedible snack, and maybe they might get prenatal vitamins. And, if they have a miscarriage, tough luck. That’s no reason to call the doctor or even give a woman medical care. Sheriff Joe is saving the taxpayers money that way.

Why just the other day, some of Sheriff Joe’s guys broke a woman’s arm because she refused to be finger-printed to prove she was an illegal immigrant.

If Sheriff Joe is allegedly saving Maricopa County so darn much money, why is he usually operating in the red and why has he cost the county (allegedly) over $41 million in lawsuits, many of them wrongful death?  During a three year period where New York, Chicago, LA, and Houston housed over 61,000 inmates per day, these combined cities only had 43 prison conditions law-suits filed against them. But in Maricopa County, during the same time frame, some 2,150 lawsuits have been filed against Sheriff Joe.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, why someone hasn’t tried to take him out sooner than this. But then, he’s a good conservative, doesn’t mind hanging out with guys who are proven neo-nazis and have neo-nazi pals, but what the heck, he’s corralin’ and roundin’ up those bad illegals at a magnificent rate. Who cares if he doesn’t practice safe civil rights? They’re just nasty illegals. The people in his cells are evil criminals and deserve unfit food, filth, killer heat, and no medical care. He’s saving the tax-payers of Maricopa County money and being a conservative bastion.

If the abuse of humans doesn’t get to you, then the check out the animal cruelty charges filed against his department.

All of this constantly makes me wonder why the people of Maricopa County keep on keeping on re-electing Joe Arpaio. He gives Republicans a bad name and is an embarrassment to the GOP. More than that, he gives the human race a bad name. But, he does, allegedly save the taxpayers of Maricopa County tones of money, so they keep on re-electing him.

You gotta love it.

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About SJ Reidhead

  • …Yes, he’s a treat, isn’t he?

    However much you might not like it, I’m afraid Sheriff Joe and his brand of cowboy justice have a great deal to do with the modern Republican Party. I think you can thank Reagan for that.

  • SJ,

    A very informative, well written piece; and I’m not saying that, mind you, because I happen to agree with it, only because it towers (in my mind) above the other stuff.

    I do have one question, however. You do say, in the first or second paragraph, I believe, that the Obama administration is “going about it in the wrong way.”

    What I couldn’t quite get: What ought to be “the right way?” Could you elaborate?


  • RE #1 –
    Dr Dreadful;

    That’s what makes me so angry about it. I don’t think it is Reagan’s fault, rather the talk radio “giants” who have turned Reagan into a false idol to be worshipped. I was listening to Sheriff Joe on Hannity earlier today – made me want to gag – the way Hannity was glossing over things.

    RE #2 –

    It may be that the civil rights thing is the only way to take him out. One of the reason I listed all of the other problems was to try and elaborate on other problems with him, But, they probably do not rise to the level of a Fed investigation.

    Something I did not think about mentioning, it wasn’t until immigration became a big “conservative” issue that Sheriff Joe even bothered with it. It’s all for votes and pandering to the press.

    You would think the voters would kick him out, simply over the $41 Million paid out in wrongful death claims, but since the county’s insurance picks up on most of it, they probably don’t even know about it.

    I would love to see him taken out over all of the above, but I don’t think is is going to happen. And, don’t think the immigration end of it is not being played as a wedge issue. It’s already starting. I was hoping we could let it go, but forget that.

    It just gets old and tiring.


  • So what are your views on illegal immigration, SJ. I realize it’s a hot topic and no one wants to touch it with a ten foot pole. And perhaps in light of the present condition, it’s no longer such an impending issue (as there seems to be less and less of it right now). If anything should have been done about it, it was way before. IMO, both Democrats and Republicans (for different reasons of course) thought it most convenient to shut their eyes.

    So perhaps it’s a good thing that it’s no longer so pressing. Anyway, that’s my thoughts on it.

  • Clavos

    The longer the economy’s in the tank, the less of an issue illegal immigration is.

    More than a million of them have gone back to Mexico, and border authorities say there’s a steady stream of them Southbound these days.

    Every cloud has a silver lining.

    Of course, the price of veggies will be going up sharply.

  • RE # 4


    I’m basically going with the John McCain plan. I think kids who grew up here, went to school, but were born elsewhere and are “illegal” should get a break. I’d even fast-track college as long as they signed up to do a stint in either the military, peace corp, or some sort of community based service as a payback – in their country of origin – if possible. Take what they’ve learned and use it to good use for their homeland, then come back here, and do the citizenship thing.

    If they go into the military, then do an automatic green card and if they see combat, etc. get citizenship quicker.

    If parents have children who are born here, do the anchor baby thing and let them stay. Separating families is a vile thing and will only come back to hurt us one day. Pay a fine, wait “X” # of years for citizenship, then do it.

    Criminals – make ’em serve their time here – hard time, then be deported. Do not deport until the sentence is served.

    The party who implements this is the one who will reach majority status in the coming years. This disgusting anti-Hispanic racism is disgusting and is just that – racism.


  • A very fair view, SJ. As Clavos says, it’s becoming less of a problem, but still. We are in a situation and we’ve got to deal with it – so it may as well be equitably. But personally, I don’t think it’s going to become an election issue – too much water under the bridge, not to mention the economic morass we’re in.

    There is one thing you’re touching upon, however, about which I feel rather strongly. I myself had come here from another country, and at that time, it was a privilege and a great honor to become an American. That mindset had disappeared over the years. Of course, the condition we’re in right now puts quite a different slant on things, but still . . . Where is the loyalty and the love of country? Even here, I’m dismayed by some of the comments that are posted on BC. And we’re not talking here about immigrants but “true-blue” Republicans (or conservatives, if you like). Especially in these times.

    No wonder we’re going to the dogs.


  • As in number 1 Comment above: You can thank Reagan for that, and I do, regularly. Illegals are invaders of a sovereign nation. Criminals deserve to be endentured. I am a neanderthal accordiong to the liberals. Thankfully today I am still allowed to think that way. What I cannot believe is why illegals are treated so wonderfully with my (tax) money….

  • It’s my tax money as well, Political Common [WTF??!!?].

    You don’t get to justify treating people like garbage in a country that is allegedly the Beacon of Freedom and Justice just because you hand over some of your hard-earned to the Man.

  • It’s “indentured,” PCS.

    Otherwise, you’d be viewed as a “neanderthal” by the Republicans and the Democrats alike.

  • M (a) ® k

    hmmm…I thought he meant that we should bash out their teeth.

  • Clavos

    LOL, M (a) ® k!!!

  • Doug Hunter

    Our current immigration policy is the height of stupidity. Now that illegals and their families have a voting block that cannot be ignored it is only a matter or time before they seek vengeance for those years they spent as second class citizens. We’ve tried importing cheap labor and treating them differently under the law, first with slavery, and now with ‘illegal’ immigration. The first blew up in our face and the second will too.

    We need to either enforce our laws or get rid of them and have open borders. With an estimated 50% dropout rate the hispanic population is a ticking time bomb. If you think we have a race problem with blacks, just wait till the hispanic political movement matures and wants it’s payback… and they’ll have the votes to get it!

  • Clavos

    ¡Y también retomaremos Aztlán!

  • Doug #13,

    Hopefully, we’ll have matured as a country by then.

  • joe

    if they don’t like him doing hes job then they can go back to where the belong and the ones who suport them can go with them. i’am sick of paying for the illegals who draw food stamps,free medical and free education that i pay for.

  • Joe:

    You left out:

    ‘They come over here. They take our jobs. They steal our women…’

    Do please stick to the script…

  • Cindy

    It looks like they also stole Joe’s English book.

  • Maricopa County has always been a shining beacon of justice fairness, equity and rule of law. My former roommate went there once on a lark in the ’70’s. He was a arrested (it’s against the law to fly on a lark in Maricopa County), deloused with DDT and given bus fair to Minneapolis (from whence he had come). He never returned to Maricopa County for the rest of his life (he’s dead now). How long has this piece of shit sheriff been in office anyway?

  • Since 1992, I believe. He’s a walking, knuckle-dragging argument for term limits.

  • Clavos

    LOL, Cindy!

  • Cannonshop

    Enforce the law, or remove the law. Having a law (like our immigration laws) that isn’t enforced is an invitation to criminality. Having the law creates a second-class existence for those who come north (or south-there have been illegals come through Canada before), since they are conditioned to fear discovery. This makes them easy victims of human-rights abuses by employers and criminals both, including incidents in which a U-haul full of illegals was left in the middle of the desert-abandoned to die by the Coyote that took their savings with a promise to get them into the U.S.

    Enforce the Law, or Remove the Law. If our borders were enforced, perhaps some of the “Scandalous” arms shipments to Mexican drug gangs would be halted-because there wouldn’t be easy conduits to transport the goods south. Export normally requires a license, customs-check, and other things that are not what a gun-runner wants to see.

    Enforce the Law-and you wouldn’t have people re-electing guys like Arpaio who do this kind of thing, because there would be no demand for it.

    The law is not enforced…it could well be non-enforceable. Having it means we have sweatshops and piecework mills, drug-mules, gun-running and all the rest of the shit that comes with creating a population that is hiding actively from the law just to go about day-to-day business that the rest of us go about doing.