Flinty Words Come Back to Haunt Ex-AZ Sheriff Arpaio

Print More

His own words were the key evidence leading to yesterday’s federal criminal contempt conviction of Joe Arpaio, the tough-talking former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., reports the Arizona Republic. Arpaio’s quotes, many from press releases and broadcast media clips, were cited more than 20 times in U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling that the ex-sheriff had shown “flagrant disregard” for another federal judge’s order that halted his signature immigration round-ups. She cited, for example, a TV interview in 2012 in which Arpaio admitted that he was still targeting suspected illegal immigrants. “If they don’t like what I’m doing,” he said, “get the laws changed in Washington.”

The sentencing phase will begin Oct. 5. Arpaio, 85, faces up to six months in confinement, a sentence equivalent to that of a misdemeanor. The decision caps the latest chapter in a decade-long racial-profiling case that began after allegations that Arpaio’s deputies were targeting Latinos during their immigration-enforcement operations. Arpaio began to draw international media attention shortly after he was first elected in 1992. He created a “Tent City Jail,” where inmates lived outdoors through the sweltering Arizona summer heat and were issued old-fashioned striped prison jumpsuits and pink underwear. Arpaio was re-elected repeatedly with overwhelming majorities until he was soundly defeated in 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

X

You have Free articles left this month.

Want access to all our reporting? Subscribe for unlimited access or login.

SUBSCRIBE LOGIN