Letters

Good Riddance
If only there were a Rep in the restaurant where I ate today--maybe I wouldn't be so outraged at poor little fat boy Lance Hawthorne, who died in Madison Street Jail ("109 Degrees of Incarceration," Tony Ortega, May 6). As usual, New Times blames everything on Joe Arpaio. If I read your trash-a-zine, I would probably find that there hasn't been one single issue since Joe took office that hasn't blamed him for something.

What's my take on it? Good--we got one more slimeball off the streets. Guy living in a garage, a "loner" who played with gadgets and stockpiled nudey pictures of prepubescent boys, is a crime waiting to happen. The more these wackos are allowed to remain on the streets, the more truly innocent people will be harmed.

Sheriff Joe should be applauded for his getting tough on prisoners. One thing New Times, its readers and anti-Arpaioists need to realize is that he's not driving around scooping people off the streets. There's a reason people end up in his system. The reason is that these lawbreakers violated someone to deserve their punishment. You are quick to forget the innocent victims, the real victims that are scarred for life for what these maniacs do out there. Think of the poor little boys that had to stand there naked as the day they were born--standing in front of a camera being operated by either this joker or some other idiot. Think of the landlord who is emotionally scarred for life because he had to dodge bullets that came out of Hawthorne's gun. Think of the poor mother who was, obviously, misled by her son--a good boy, my ass!

This guy deserved what he got, and his mother should be glad that this part of her life is over. If I were her, I would be ashamed that I gave birth to that.

Jennifer Alcock
Mesa

Editor's note: About two-thirds of the people in Maricopa County jails are pretrial detainees, presumed innocent until proved guilty.

So, America's Toughest Sheriff needs a bulletproof car. Perhaps being the victim of a vicious, drive-by lawn ornamenting has made him a little paranoid. With his increasing obsession for personal security, heavier and heavier armaments and the ongoing vendettas against perceived internal enemies, Joke Arpaio is beginning to look a lot like some self-appointed banana-republic dictator.

Brooke Cabaniss
Chandler

Dudes, get off of it already. I am sick and tired of you guys blasting the sheriff and his department.

If you hate the man so much, why don't one of you try to do the job? Do you have any idea what it is like, running after some jerk who just beat the living shit out of his girlfriend? And then pointing your gun at him, thinking that at any minute the asshole might try to kill you with his gun? Or that you might have to shoot him in defense of yourself?

Get a fucking grip! Sheriff Joe may do some things that piss off some people, but you know what? I happen to like the job he is doing, although I work for another law-enforcement agency. I know what it is like to be hated by just about everyone you deal with. We are out there 24-7, on holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July. You get to spend time with your families. We spend time with accident victims and raped 4-year-old girls.

Who are the first people you call when some fuckhead tries to steal your car or breaks into your house? Us--that's who. Why don't you get with the program and support law enforcement here? People like Scott Norberg do not deserve to die, that I agree with. But in the defense of the sheriff and other law enforcement who have had prisoners die, I will say this: I deal with people high on drugs all the time; sometimes there is no stopping them. They will do anything to avoid being brought under control. Sometimes they have no idea what's going on until later, but for the most part, they have at least some clue. When it takes six officers to put down some guy who weighs a buck 50, you know something's up. So what if he gets hog-tied, shackled or cuffed? Most don't die from it.

Next time some drug-crazed loser tries to grab your car or wife or daughter, think about the situation. If you call the police or sheriff, remember this: We are the ones who put our lives on the line. We are willing to take a bullet to save your asses! So what if we piss off some family once in a while? We may just pull that two-time loser from drinking and driving and killing your entire family while he gets to walk because of a bullshit technicality, or we may stop some dope addict who does the same thing. Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it. Print something decent about law enforcement in your rag for a change.

Byron James
Gilbert

Keep up your fine work on the sheriff and his underlings. As a former member reserve officer, I applaud your work. My opinion is that David Hendershott is the key to most everything. The sheriff keeps yes people around him, and Hendershott was the most talented of the group. I have known most of the players in this story, and I feel it is a shame that until they get on the wrong side, they do not have the resolve to come forward. The credibility factor is a little in question because of this. Of all the players, Mark Wetherell was the most honest I was involved with. I find it amazing that the people of Maricopa County do not see what an embarrassment the high staff at the sheriff's office is. Keep up the good work, for it is not all in vain!

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