Sheriff Joe Wants to Know

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America's Worst Sheriff (is that not his nickname? I'll coin it anyway) Joe Arpaio doesn't like being criticized.

Arpaio began sponsoring "crime suppression sweeps" earlier this year, bringing hundreds of deputies and volunteer posse members to heavily Hispanic areas. Residents were pulled over for minor traffic offenses and questioned about their immigration status.

[Phoenix Mayor Phil] Gordon decried the practice in a series of high-profile speeches, beginning with the Chavez lunch in March. "The posse didn't lock up murderers," Gordon noted at the luncheon, correctly. "They locked up people with broken tail lights."

Arpaio's response?

Four week after Gordon's widely publicized denunciation… sheriff's deputies fired off a public-records request seeking the mayor's e-mails, cell phone records, and meeting calendar.

The letter also demands e-mail correspondence for Police Chief Jack Harris, City Manager Frank Fairbanks, and all of Gordon's administrative staff. In all, the sheriff's investigators are seeking every single e-mail written by more than a dozen Phoenix staffers, from November to the date of the sheriff's demand.

The rationale given by Arpaio is that he's going to do his own investigation of the posse. No one believes this, obviously.

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  1. See, American democracy does work. South of the border, the mayor might have had some kind of untimely “accident.”

  2. Posse? Sheriffs still round up posses? Really?

  3. I really wouldn’t have a problem with the prison conditions this guy establishes if the prisoners actually belonged in jail in the first place. I really can’t get worked up about “harsh conditions” for murders, theives and rapists.

    Sadly I’d say less than half our current population of prisoners actually belong in prison.

    1. agree to a point. but also remember many “prisoners” in a county lock-up are awaiting trial…

  4. It’s about time some LawEnforcementOfficers fought back against SmallPenisedPoliticians who don’t have the stomach to DoWhatItTakes to enforce the ImmigrationLaws.

  5. Arpaio is such a fucking tool. How does he still have a job? Is his position elected, and if so, who is voting for him? And where is the FBI or US Attorney investigating civil right violations?

  6. I’ll bet the sheriff has an untimely accident north of the border if he keeps violating the Constitution.

  7. Well, you are allowed to charge for the cost of complying with a records request. In this case, the charge should be, oh, about 2 million dollars, which should be billed to Sheriff Joe personally.

  8. Is his position elected, and if so, who is voting for him?

    I believe he is elected. There are a lot of redneck whites still left in Maricopa Co.

    And where is the FBI or US Attorney investigating civil right violations?

    Probably trying to drum up a voter fraud case against Democrats.

  9. Is his position elected, and if so, who is voting for him?

    The position is indeed elected; he’s up for reelection this year (in November).

  10. This has all the makings of a cheesy movie starring someone like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

  11. Wonder if Joe is going to go after Governor Napalitano for taking away his immigrant chasing money?

    This guy is going after everyone else it seems. I’ve read stories about the feud between him and the local county attorney and see that he is going after the State’s Attorney General.
    This guy is making too many enemies. I bet someone with the feds will step up to the plate and knock down Joe a level or two not because the feds believe what Joe is doing is wrong but because they want to teach Joe a lesson that there is an authority greater than Joe.

    Oh and there is this:

    A Cronkite/Eight Poll released in November of last year shows that Arpaio is still a rock star with county voters: the poll said that 35 percent of Maricopa County voters with an opinion of Arpaio rated their opinion as “very positive,” while 30 percent rated it “generally positive.”

    Maybe we deserve the totalitarianism that we voluntarily vote into office.

  12. A Cronkite/Eight Poll released in November of last year shows that Arpaio is still a rock star with county voters: the poll said that 35 percent of Maricopa County voters with an opinion of Arpaio rated their opinion as “very positive,” while 30 percent rated it “generally positive.”

    I won’t be moving there.

  13. Warty | May 21, 2008, 2:18pm | #
    Posse? Sheriffs still round up posses? Really?

    Sure. How else are they going to head the bad guys off at the pass?

  14. This is the guy who kills dogs and then goes after DMX for animal cruelty.

    He also wants to recruit Shaq because he knows about Shaq’s experience with wrong address SWAT raids. Together they could roll a lot of tanks down the street, kill some dogs, and burn people alive for unpaid parking tickets!

  15. Maybe things work differently out on the frontier, but what’s a county sheriff doing nosing around the affairs of the City of Phoenix? (I’m assuming these “sweeps” are taking place in Phoenix since it’s the Phoenix mayor we’re talking about here.) Where I’m from, the county sheriff only patrols areas outside cities and villages. Then again, our sheriffs’ megalomania doesn’t rise to such a breathtaking level as this guy Arpaio.

  16. Rhywun,

    I don’t know about that — Monroe Co Sheriff cars are a constant sight in Rochester, for instance.

  17. Orange County Sheriff shows up in Newburgh all the time too.

  18. America’s Worst Sheriff

    His actual nickname is “Sheriff DipShit.” Pass it on.

    Dave Weigel, I urge you to look into getting a trademark on “Sheriff Dipshit, Joe Arpaio” for a forthcoming series of t-shirts, caps, barbecue aprons, etc. Makes a great Phoenix-area fundraiser!

  19. Monroe Co Sheriff cars are a constant sight in Rochester, for instance

    Hm… I looked it up and it seems kind of murky: “The Sheriff’s Department operates a large road patrol force which patrols the towns within Monroe County that do not have their own police patrols, although the department has jurisdiction throughout the county.” Rochester is my home town, and I don’t remember seeing much of the county police. Then again, I didn’t drive much either. My hunch is they’re patrolling major highways and such. I’m quite certain they wouldn’t be patrolling Clifford Ave. looking for illegal immigrants.

  20. I hate that fucker’s guts with a passion. I hate even more, how every once in a while, when one of those “green baloney and pink underwear” stories makes the rounds, Americans around the country line up to eat his shit in approval.

  21. Arpaio should be in the fucking nuthouse.

    And I have a pretty good idea where he thinks I should be.

  22. “Conservatives” of the WorldNutDaily type love this guy. He’s a hero to them. Of course he would be, he gets to do harm with not only impunity but wide support, just like they want to do.

  23. The most threatened I have ever felt was as a longhair driving around rural Arizona around 1990. They take threatening hick to a whole ‘nother level.

  24. America’s worst sheriff? I’d beg to differ. Search the web regarding Victor Hill of Clayton County, Georgia.

  25. Motherfucker is a nazi but he knows how to stroke PR like none other. Luckily I haven’t hit one of his DUI checkpoints yet, but I’m not looking forward to it.

    How the hell he keeps getting elected in the land of Goldwater, I have no idea.

  26. America’s worst sheriff? I’d beg to differ. Search the web regarding Victor Hill of Clayton County, Georgia.

    Yeah, there’s definitely some stiff competition for that award… I recall Balko had a post on Victor Hill a few months back.

  27. When Radley finishes helping Mississippi reform their forensics system, maybe he can help Phoenix with their sheriff problem

  28. Radley Balko was confused over how anyone could complain that Reason-style “libertarians” support corporate welfare, and this is a good example he could learn from (if he was capable of learning).

    PhilGordon is a CorruptSupporter of IllegalActivity and, rather than oppose IllegalActitivy, the corporate welfare queens at Reason support him.

  29. and once again LoneWackOff kills a blog post…

  30. and once again LoneWackOff kills a blog post…

    The twit is so obsessed with IllegalImmigration that he doesn’t notice that his favorite sheriff has violated the rights of native-born American citizens, too.

  31. When people post things with two words joined are they making fun of Orange Line Special?

  32. Yes, and ThreeWordsToo.

  33. If you are legal, you have nothing to hide.

  34. If you are legal, you have nothing to hide.

    I assume then that the sheriff has already cleared all your e-mail.

  35. When people post things with two words joined are they making fun of Orange Line Special?

    In a word?

    Yes.

    Lonewacko is incapable of actually taking part in a real conversation, preferring instead to partake in a habit of showing up and spraying off-topic posts all over the thread much like a cross-eyed drug dealer would tend to spray bullets all over a neighborhood.

    In other words, he makes a lot of noise without actually making any sort of point relevant to the topic at hand.

  36. The opposition to “profiling” once again proves how absurd it is. I think it is a safe bet that 99.9% of the illegal aliens in Arpaio’s county are Hispanic. The notion that an increased presence in the area where these people live is somehow immoral is just plain stupid. Objections to it are reminiscent of people who think grandmothers with walkers and pre-teens should receive as much scrutiny at the airport as groups of middle-eastern men. After all, we wouldn’t want to engage in the horrible sin of “profiling” regardless of how much sense it makes.
    And it is just great how you try to color the debate by calling it a posse, as if it is lawless mob, constrained by no one. And when the mayor says they locked up people with broken tail lights”, he happens to have left out “who were in the country illegally”. Funny how that part got left out of the discussion.

    As far as Arpaio’s horribleness is concerned, I think I trust the voters of that county more than I do the snobs here at Reason.

  37. Sheriff Joe needs to burn in a plane fire. Ive spent time in his jail system. Its ridiculous. I sat in jail for a month only to have the charges dropped. Innocent until proven guilty? Then why did I sit in jail?

    B, The problem is the fact that sheriff Joe is the one doing the “constraining.”

    The other issue is, a good percentage of the people that would vote AGAINST him cant because they have been convicted of a crime which doesn’t allow them to vote.

    I am all for harsh punishment for those who deserve it. Unfortunately this guy hands out get into jail free cards likes hes making money from an increase in inmates… Oh wait…

    Hell his entire family is in the business. Sister makes the clothes, daughter dates a bashas’ higher up so they get free old food for the jail systems, etc, etc.

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