Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Top 10


"To authoritarian conservatives," William Grigg wrote last November at The LRC Blog, "the demented thug known as Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a folk hero. Sure, people regularly die in Arpaio's custody, his deputies can brazenly commit acts of theft in open court, he's chummy with neo-Nazis, and his corruption has cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County plenty—but, hey, at least he's beating back the Brown Peril, so he must be a good guy." I've heard from quite a few Arpaio fans since writing last week's column, which warned that Arizona's new immigration law will encourage police to emulate him. I am sure that none of them would be interested in this video-illustrated list of "Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 10 Craziest Moments," which range from wacky publicity stunts like pink inmate underwear to egregious abuses such as an assault by his deputies on a paraplegic man busted for marijuana possession and the shackling of a suspected illegal immigrant throughout childbirth. Several of these cases have been noted here by Radley Balko and others.