Looking past Joe Arpaio


The brutalization of powerless people who look and speak differently.

Unlawful detainment and arrests.

Opponents of such tactics threatened, arrested, even jailed for no reason, "or forced to defend against specious civil complaints or other baseless charges."

A number of "troubling" incidents of use of excessive force.

Clear abuses of the constitution.

These sound like the sort of horrifying developments that might occur in some distant police state, don't they?  Well, they're not.

You're looking at a few of the findings of an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation of Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) -- headed by none other than the (in)famous Joe Arpaio.

Deb Dedon
Deb Dedon Subscriber
Dec 20, 2011 06:46 PM
If Maricopa County doesn't sound familiar, it's anchored by the City of Phoenix, once home of Barry Goldwater, now McCain country, which lists so far to the right, it's in danger of capsizing. Sheriff Joe fits his environmental niche, which includes Governor Jan Brewer.

One of the grievous burdens borne by Arizona is sheer numbers of illegal entrants who turn up on the wrong end of the law, as well as legal residents in the same position. Arizona has been hard pressed to house and feed inmates and detainees in the best of times. Now? Criticize all you like, but short-handed, under-funded justice is rough. It is ironic, and politically illustrative, that Maricopa County, which boasts some of the highest incomes in the state, does not devote more tax revenue to support corrections. We can do better, but only if somebody pays for it, and those somebody's don't live in Maricopa County.
The Taylors
The Taylors Subscriber
Dec 20, 2011 08:33 PM
sherrif joe has "progressed" to some tyrannical antics for sure. but i think the fed gov is lax, lame, lacking on immigration enforcement. arizona is full of hyprocrisy, businessmen, wealthy people all have been hiring illegals and they are scarcely ever prosecuted. but the aspect i favor best about sherrif joe is his deliberate attempt to make criminals uncomfortable. most departments of correction in arizona and nationwide have better, more comfortable conditions that what we vets who served overseas had. listen to tom russell's "who's gonna build your wall" song and you'll get a good description of arizona culture.
Tom Schweich
Tom Schweich Subscriber
Dec 22, 2011 09:03 AM
Yup. Bad scene there in Maricopa County. Root cause, though, is failure of the Federal government to deal with immigration. Or, just failure of the federal government, in general. Fixing that would require public financing of campaigns (Yuk!) and a parliamentary system of government.