Accountability trumps popularity.

When former County Attorney Andrew Thomas conspired with Sheriff Arpaio to arrest and indict their political opponents on the Board of Supervisors and in the state judiciary, the State Bar of Arizona investigated the witch hunts and then revoked Thomas' ability to practice law.

But President Barack Obama and the Justice Department ducked their own four-year criminal investigation of the sheriff. Despite Arpaio's diverting $100 million from the jail-enhancement fund to underwrite immigration sweeps, the feds announced that they were dropping the probe.

Their announcement was timed for prime political impact and coincided with the sheriff's well-publicized speech at a rally outside the Republican National Convention.

If the Justice Department ducked the criminal investigation, they blinked on the civil probe of the sheriff.

After announcing at a press event that they had determined Sheriff Arpaio engaged in the worst pattern of racial profiling in the history of American law enforcement, the Justice Department told incredulous onlookers that they intended to collaborate with him to correct the situation. Rather than sue in a civil action, the feds suggested that they could work with the sheriff.

In a tight election cycle, President Obama did not want to provoke Arpaio and his national base of fans and funds.

Appeasement did not work.

The sheriff told the feds to take a walk. He wouldn't be collaborating.

The Justice Department belatedly announced a civil action.

But the heavy lifting of litigation was carried by the ACLU, MALDEF, and Covington & Burling.

In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to join the National Guard in Arkansas to protect the rights of black children trying to secure an equal education. Citing "the leadership of demagogic extremists," Eisenhower confronted local politicians and law enforcement in Little Rock.

Instead of confronting the obviously outrageous behavior of Sheriff Arpaio, the federal government enabled it. Obama's director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, allowed the sheriff and his deputies to become America's largest force in their 287(g) deportation program.

Napolitano, former governor and U.S. Attorney of Arizona, knew explicitly what a thug the sheriff was. The brutality and death in his jails, Tent City, pink underwear, chain gangs, and the early stages of immigrant bashing began under her watch.

SB 1070, the incendiary "show us your papers" legislation was not signed by Governor Jan Brewer until April 2010.

Had President Obama and the Justice Department stood up to Arpaio from the outset, the momentum for immigration extremism surrounding SB 1070 could have been challenged.

Instead, the sheriff fanned the flames of immigration hysteria for years beginning in 2007. The heat extended beyond mere roundups to full-scale media events based on the hunt for Mexicans and press conferences.

Arpaio conducted 32 crime-suppression sweeps and another 36 workplace raids.

In four years, the sheriff's crime-suppression sweeps stopped between 500 and 750 Hispanics out of more than 1,600 total stops. The estimate on Hispanics varies because records do not reflect race; last names are the only clue, though not a decisive one.

The big numbers were found inside Arpaio's jails.

This from an MCSO press release: "This year [2011] the Maricopa County Sheriff's Human Smuggling Unit has arrested over 2,500 illegal aliens involved in human smuggling and investigated over 50,000 in the jails and on the streets in the last three years."

President Obama explained to the nation that only serious criminals were targeted for deportation from American jails.

And that clearly was the intent when the sheriff signed the Memorandum of Understanding in February 2007 to set up the standards to license deputies to enforce 287(g).

Arpaio agreed specifically to target: "Criminal enterprises, organized criminal activities, gang activity, illegal trafficking of narcotics, and pervasive criminal activity."

Instead, he used cracked windshields to detain ordinary Mexicans.

A recent study found that 55 percent of those deported nationally had been charged with the most minor transgressions.

As Arpaio waits for a ruling in Melendres, SB 1070 remains a reality. In every encounter with a Hispanic, all law enforcement must inquire as to immigration status. There are consequences if a policeman does not ask.

It is not clear whether the pregnant Escamilla was the victim of a culture nurtured in Arpaio's command or she simply ran into a deputy having a bad day.

But it is clear what is happening since SB 1070 took effect.

Hugo Carrillo Escobedo was stopped for a traffic violation at 83rd Avenue and Thomas Road. He presented his registration, proof of insurance, and his visa. Informed that his visa had expired a month earlier, he was cited and his vehicle was towed.

After Escobedo was allowed to walk away, the officer who stopped him phoned and asked where he could find the high school student.

In short order, the policeman arrived at the Escobedo residence. The young man then was told he would be turned over to ICE.

"It's my job," explained the worried cop. "If I don't do it, I'll lose my job."

This is the hammer in SB 1070 used to force the police to sweep the streets of immigrants. Cops who do not challenge Mexicans face consequences.

Escobedo spent eight hours at ICE, where it was determined that he had a valid petition for legal status pending.

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202 comments
thespecialneedsgroup
thespecialneedsgroup

Looking at the above picture, I the only thing I can think is, why in the name of Hell does a civil law enforcement agency need an M2 heavy machine gun?

Guerro
Guerro

Ahhh! I love the sound of proggies crying.

danitaford78
danitaford78

to aron i am not from here and i did not come over with a may flower ship i came from my mother so if you do not know me you should keep your comment to yourself .And he is a racist man that only has power and control that he use to no avail .How do you think he won by paying people and keeping all the mexicans from votinig yesterday so he could win.

newcomer
newcomer

Wow thats crazy stuff I almost hate to ask but I know somewhere along the line Sheriff Joe has apparently done some good stuff for some shitty people. I dont agree with dragging Obama into the article but I do find it interesting that the people who might have had the opportunity to nip this in the bud either co signed it or backed it. I for one didnt vote for him I detest his policies and rate him somewhere in the Hitler regime is it any wonder he embraced the KKK how is he different?

Anon
Anon

Thank You Michael Lacey for a direct & very readable article. 

ainjunwon
ainjunwon

ArPaio is a "nut" BUT at least he's a "Nut" I trust . . . . his track record :)

candey8111
candey8111

Thank you for writing a concise fact-filled fair article without assumptions. Too bad your other writers don't follow your example

1070-24-7-365
1070-24-7-365

I hope Sheriff Joe is re-elected just so I can hear the whines for the prog-tards.  "Waaah, racism! Waaah! homophobia!  Get used to it, Holder will be gone soon and Sheriff Joe would make a great replacement

50Hz
50Hz

How many of you all are okay with letting all kinds of strangers run in and out your own home at any time, day or night? I'm sure most people would say that they have rules and boundaries they enforce for their own homes. What would happen if the law didn't protect people and their homes?

ted409
ted409

arpaio will prevail .... hes been thru alot tougher elections than this .. he needs to go home and enjoy his retirement at age 78 hes got a good reason to go home . the pima county sheriff is about as lold and wise 

dockhooty
dockhooty

Very simple answer is if Feds would enforce their own immagration laws we wouldn't be having this conversation and Arizona wouldn't be paying for lawsuits backed by the folks that don't enforce the laws passed by the U. S. congress. If you break the law I don't care what your race is you should be punished, it just happens that their is more Mexican crossing our border than Canadians, with out papers or pass ports visas or other papers.

 

redperk1964
redperk1964

do the people in Maridopa County know what percentage of their taxes go for just paying lawsuits the County has lost because of this bag of s_it !

roadfunk
roadfunk

This 80 year old butt potato should be forced to retire. 

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

Dont like the laws gtf back to mexico !!!!!!!

danitaford78
danitaford78

he sucks and so does the governer they are both racist and hateful people they have freind there kind ,they do not care about the middle class or the poor here all they care about is money that they can spend on there selfish self they make me sick .

danitaford78
danitaford78

i  dislike this man he is evil and he needs to go he has been running this town to long and he needs to go home and retire his badge .he is racist any time he want to to spend money for a private detective  to search for the president birth ceritifcate he has issues and he needs to go and be home with his wife that he has been with for 15 years and do something else with his life  and let the new person running that i vote for give us better jails and better food and not treat mexicans or other races like crap.i am not saying dont punish people for the wrong things they do but be fair about it.B ecause some people need corporal pushiment but that for prsion not the jails.He needs to go !!!!!

artfire1557
artfire1557

Yiou're so right. He's a nut. A racist, bully who has nearly everyone fooled into thinking he's a good,  tough, sheriff. But the truth is he is s corrupt lawman I've ever known. The list of illegal and costly things he's done is too long to even list. He is only in charge of criminals in jail for either ; waiting trial or in for only 1 year or less. He is not in charge of the bad criminals such as murderers, as he would let you believe. He's just great at promoting himself.Not good for Arizona. 

allanbartlett
allanbartlett

 @1070-24-7-365

 I progged your mamas tard tunnel, where you slipped out, covered in my sperm.

Go sniff your fingertips, sheep fucker.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @1070-24-7-365 

 

Prog-tards? LOL!!!

 

You idiots are too stupid to even think up your own insults, you have to steal others.

 

Lame... really really lame.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @50Hz 

 

If Joe actually protected people ant their homes, you would have a point, but he doesn't.

 

He is too interested in how much face time he can get in front of the closest camera as he arrests yet another US Citizen who happens to be brown.

Anon
Anon

 @dockhooty Schooled in AZ? Beautifully illiterate..... ahhh

Anon
Anon

 @redperk1964  Not to mention healthcare for the 'bigfatburger', who should be  a goner due to ALL his lack of standards. Well said ~ from a rape  & assault victim, in the Mecca of DENIAL of Human Rights/ Maricopa county, a dustbowl tornado of hatred.

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

 @redperk1964 Well if there weren't so many illegals here thinking they had rights in our country , backed by these civil liberty unions there would be no lawsuits !!!!!    imagine if you went to Russia and waiving  an American flag and demanded rights and weren't a Russian citizen... WTF do you think would happen there.. Come into our country the right way the legal way or go home.

grandforksnd2000
grandforksnd2000

 @redperk1964

 And paying for all the illegals to go to the emergency room with our tax money.  Educating them for FREE.

sarum
sarum

@eurosportm3 This is how most of the world thinks, including our neighbor to the south. It does not mean racism necessarily. Even in Mexico they deny being racist when they do things that would be huge lawsuit here. I agree with euro - one comes to a nation to benefit - many immigrants and refugees are torn between their "community" and becoming a full US person. Some have told me "I did not come here to live in Litle VietNam, (substitute litte Mexico, little Italy, little Hmong) and unless the laws are egregiously problematic - say if they are being invited to nation but laws are very prejudice against them - then they have right to file suit (if the nation allows such) - but to just wish to change the laws and make it like the nation they left cuz that is what they like - no. They came here because it is not like the nation they left.

JOEgottaGO
JOEgottaGO

 @eurosportm3 eurosperm why in the world would you say something like that?  Why dont you go somewhere where you are the minority.  Try doing something to better yourself and see what its like to be in their shoes.  Are you an American Citizen??  The Euro in your name makes me think otherwise.  Put yourself in the position these people are in...I bet your ideas might change a little.

mrh0202201091
mrh0202201091

Whites in mexico are breaking laws all the time ...you don t know about that do you..

ardwyck
ardwyck

 @danitaford78

 First, he has been married 55 years.

Second, Mexican is not a race.  It's where they are from.  Therefore, race isn't an issue.

Lastly, despite what you have said, you are trying to get people who have broken the law from being punished.  If you are here by any other means than the prescribed means you have broken the law.  Law Enforcement has every right, and duty, to check the status of suspected violators of the Federal Immigration laws.

 

I am really getting tired of all the focus being on the person, persons, breaking the law.  It may be true, even laudable, that they are trying to improve their life by coming to America,  But to do so by sneaking in is just should not be allowed.  Hey, I need more money, how far would that reasoning fly if I used it for robbing a bank?  Just saying.  There's an old saying 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'.  This immigration issue proves this.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @eurosportm3  @redperk1964 

 

Hey idiot, the lawsuits are from US Citizens that Joe has arrested and/or detained simply because they are brown.

 

They are also for people who have not been convicted of any crime being killed by deliberate officer neglect in his jails. US Citizens and in at least one case, a US Veteran!

 

Your analogy is also total BULLSHIT since the laws of this country are not the same as the laws of russia. You want those laws, move there.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

 @grandforksnd2000  You can thank the U.S. Supreme Court for the free education for illegals.

 

The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision created "separate but equal" education for minorities.

 

The 1982 Plyler vs. Doe decision reaffirmed the 1954 decision.

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

 @sarum  @eurosportm3 Not racist idiot !!!! just telling mexicans if they like mexico so much go home !!!!! i have many friends that are mexican , spanish , black , whatever !!!!! but they are LEGAL and there parents came here the legal way as did mine from Greece , they pay there taxes , work and put money back into the economy not Mexicos , look all i'm saying is come here legally pay your taxes put your hard earned money back into the American economy and fly both flags with pride.....

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

 @JOEgottaGO I am somewhere where i am a minority , my own state where i was born and raised a$$wipe , tired of all these illegals protesting they have rights in Arizona , your illegal you have no rights stop waiving your mexican flag ,  if your so proud of mexico go back home.....

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

 @truthseekeraz Not racist just tired of illegals coming here ILLEGALLY , i have no problem if they enter our country LEGALLY and want to contribute to our economy and not mexico's , illegals are taxing our health care system affecting our childrens education by making our kids learn spanish only !!!! you came to our country learn english why should we have to learn spanish you are in our country , just shows how bad the problem is , you go to certain parts of Phoenix and all signs and billboards are in spanish its like little mexico , smells like it too......

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

 @taxpayer88 Big whoop i pay taxes too and no if your illegal you aint going wtf you want , time to take back our home Arizona !!!!!!

Anon
Anon

 @ardwyck  @danitaford78   Wait another AZ bred & Home-schooled? So exactly which Mayflower did your Illegal family disembark from?

sarum
sarum

@MaskedMagician19 Figures "Flyer" would "like" the incorrect interpretation. Where is your anal righteousness about "just the facts" now? Brown did NOT create separate but equal - Brown's intent was to eliminate the existence of separate but equal. Never let a fact error get in the way of liking a good asswipe. Rally the troops!

sarum
sarum

@MaskedMagician1967 Were you waiting for someone to catch this one? No Brown was a landmark decision AGAINST "separate but equal." In fact most minority schools only taught how to be servile - they were not "equal." Plyler vs. Doe re-affirmed NOTHING. Plyler vs Doe said that children of illegal aliens cannot be denied FAPE K-12 and that districts cannot levy fees to attend public schools in order to fund their attendance when they don't pay in taxes. IOW, the states knew that the unfunded mandate to educate illegals was going to break them financially eventually so they were pro-active about it and levied tuition fees to families of children in public schools whose parents were not paying taxes to support the school. Not prejudice - just sound economic policy. But the effect is prejudice cuz how can a low-wage field worker afford "tuition"? They cannot. So the greater good was considered that having uneducated population was going to cost more over the long term. Likewise having an unmedicated (no health care) population ends up costing way more in the long run, especially when easily transmissable diseases are on the prowl. Both sides have good points. I don't know what the answer is because we are now quite broke and this is just one of the many causes. I have sibling that was illegal alien in another nation. She never got her education. That particular nation does not concern itself with the rights of illegals and deports them regularly and the rest of the EU says nothing. Nor does the World Court, International Human Rights . . .none of them say boo.

sarum
sarum

@eurosportm3 @sarum I was defending you as not necessarily racist stating that most of the world holds your view towards their illegal immigrants. Whose the idiot now?

eurosportm3
eurosportm3

 @AZHighways  @JOEgottaGO I agree with you Joe , if you are going to live in America show respect to the flag , but i also know the latinos are very proud of their culture as they should be , so fly both flags with pride as i said before and come here legally , no problems with that on my end , problem solved...

 
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