According to many present outside the parking lot of the Family Dollar store during the demonstration, Guadalupe city officials asked citizens not to protest, but instead participate in prayer vigils. But as the night wore on, the scene outside grew into a loud crowd of about 200, with cars rolling by and drivers honking horns in support.

Jimenez showed up late in the eve, and The Bird asked her if the town had okayed the show of force by the MCSO, with its numerous vehicles, a bomb squad van, and deputies on horseback.

"Earlier this morning, [the MCSO] told us they were doing a sweep because of recent graffiti," explained the mayor. "I asked them straight out, 'Lieutenant Sheppard [the MCSO's Guadalupe pointman], you are not coming to do an illegal-alien search?' He said, 'I assure you, we are not coming to do that.' I got a media release from [sheriff's PR flacks], and it stated contrary to that, saying we requested [the sheriff's presence]. We never requested him."

Jimenez, the first-time mayor of the town of 5,500 residents, distributed her own press release, demanding that the MCSO cease its anti-illegal dragnet. Jimenez finally got up the gumption to present the statement in person to a snarling-mad Joe, who accused Jimenez of inciting the crowd and placing his deputies in harm's way.

Joe looked like a madman, his hair out of whack, jabbing his finger at Jimenez, bits of spit flying from his geriatric gob.

But the mayor held her ground, accusing Joe before media cameras of coming to Guadalupe "under false pretenses." She denied that city officials had ever welcomed him because of so-called "tensions" between residents and illegal aliens discussed in the MCSO's press release.

"Forget the press release," growled Joe, adding, "That doesn't matter, actions [are] what speak."

Maricopa County's Idi Amin then told Jimenez that the MCSO would be back the following day, and that if Guadalupe wanted to cancel its $1.2 million contract for police services with the MCSO, she had 90 days to do it.

The Bird calls that blackmail.

But Joe may have stepped in the dog poo there. The Guadalupe Town Council has vowed to review Joe's contract, citing the fact that the MCSO usually provides only two deputies for patrol, and often takes up to 45 minutes to respond to violent 911 calls.

This, in contrast to the estimated 20 to 50 deputies on duty during the sweep.

Joe's bluster aside, the sheriff opted for a tactical retreat the following day, cravenly setting up his mobile command post in the parking lot of the MCSO's Mesa substation, from where the Guadalupe patrols continued 'til about 8:30 p.m. Protesters did not follow Joe to Mesa, and Joe was seen that afternoon scowling and discontented, surrounded by flunkies.

The plucky citizens of Guadalupe and their mayor won a small but significant victory, forcing a tyrant to cede ground. Now, they need to finish the job and strip Joe of his lucrative Guadalupe contract — which would mean even more money he's squandered at taxpayer expense.

Thus, slowly, little by little, falls our decrepit top cop. Hopefully, Maricopa County voters will follow suit in November and cancel Joe's contract for good.

DISSEMBLING DARRELL

Allow this aggro avian to praise a rare moment of clarity provided by a caller to the show of KTAR 92.3 FM lip-flapper Darrell Ankarlo recently, as Darrell tried to climb aboard the Martin Luther King, Jr. express, some 40 years after the civil rights leader's assassination by James Earl Ray.

Ankarlowbrow pretended to revere the slain orator and activist, lauding a recent CNN special report by TV journalist Soledad O'Brien on King's murder, playing excerpts from King's famous 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech as well as (predictably) portions of U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)." The segment stumbled into a clichéd, hackneyed zone addressing the oft-asked question, "Have we achieved the dreams Martin Luther King represented?"

Darrell the Dissembler disagreed with an African-American woman who made the obvious parallel between the civil rights struggle and the current oppression of Mexican immigrants. Later he segued into a discussion of Guadalupe, bragging about how he'd roamed the mean streets of the little town, and had actually gone inside some of the shops there, where the main language spoken was (gasp!) Spanish.

Supposedly, shoppers gave Darrell the evil eye because he was the only ofay present. Puh-lease. More likely, if you earned some wicked looks, it was because you were acting like a self-conscious, redneck goofball who turns weird around brown folk. That, or it was all that Aqua Velva you splash on, homeboy.

The conservative blowhard then had Mayor Jimenez on, and insinuated she was coddling criminals by not backing Joe's patrols.

"If you're a drug dealer, move to Guadalupe," Ankarlo suggested. "If you want to open a whorehouse, move to Guadalupe. Because the mayor wants you there. Because the mayor doesn't want protection."

Jimenez shot back, "What I'm saying is, if you're coming in here to harass anybody with brown skin, stay the hell outta my town."

Eventually, Jimenez realized she was being played by the asinine radio jock and bid Darrell adieu. Like the pompous ass he is, Ankarlo declared, "I rest my case."

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