Joe Arpaio's Sex Crimes Debacle Eviscerated in New Video by Devin Fleenor
Devin Fleenor, Phoenix musician and longtime activist against the tyrannical rule of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has produced a powerful new video that blasts Arpaio's biggest failure to date: his agency's mishandling of more than 400 sex crimes in El Mirage and elsewhere in Maricopa County.
See also: -Victims Wonder Why Arpaio Let Sex-Abuse Cases Languish -Ex-Police Chief's Book Details Arpaio's Negligence in El Mirage Cases -Devin Fleenor, Of Anti-Joe-Arpaio Fame, Fails to get Arrested During Protests; But Not for Lack of Trying -Joe Arpaio's Replacement, Paul Penzone, Blasts Sheriff's Handling of Sex Crimes in New Ad -Joe Arpaio's Doom: "Adios Arpaio" Claims 20,000 Anti-Joe Voters Added to the Rolls
The slickly-made anti-Arpaio ad features an actress portraying one of Arpaio's many victims, recounting her rape at the hands of an older man willing to walk her home.
"I tried to scream, but--," then a man's hand cover her mouth, cutting her off.
Next comes the tagline, "Sheriff Arpaio, why didn't you do something?"
Fleenor says the scenario was plucked from the book If There Were Any Victims... by retired El Mirage Assistant Police Chief Bill Louis, the title coming from Arpaio's infamous, asinine statement during a 2011 press conference over the scandal.
"If there were any victims out there, I apologize," Arpaio half-heartedly offered at the time.
The ad is self-funded, so far, according to Fleenor, but he's seeking contributions through the website noarpaio.org, in hopes of running it on local cable, in an all-out effort to deny Arpaio an unprecedented sixth term.
"What I'm really hoping for is to catch some of the national media," Fleenor told me before the ad was posted to YouTube. "Both on the conservative side and on the left. I think the conservative people will talk about it because [the mishandling of those sex crimes] is such a horrible thing."
Indeed, professional law enforcement is not a liberal or right-wing issue. It should be one we're all concerned about.
Fleenor's the guy behind the wildly-popular People Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio Facebook page, which boasts more than 118,500 followers. During the massive protests against Senate Bill 1070 in 2010, Fleenor famously handcuffed himself to Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail.
But, uncharacteristically, Joe's goons declined to arrest Fleenor, a bullet other practitioners of civil disobedience did not dodge that day.
Though he supports Democratic candidate Paul Penzone for sheriff, he says he's not affiliated with the campaign, and is merely exercising his First Amendment rights with this video.
"It's literally just me," he explained. "There's no PAC, there's no company, there's nothing. I'm just gonna take whatever money comes in and do an ad buy."
Fleenor, like the Adios Arpaio folks, and Citizens for a Better Arizona and Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement, is to be commended. The movement to topple Arpaio and put a period on his 20-year iron grip on power is expanding, and includes various groups and individuals across the political spectrum, all focused on the same, noble goal.
Arpaio and his handlers may think he can sleepwalk through this one, just like in past elections. But what Arpaio and his henchmen (and henchwomen) do not understand is that all autocrats eventually fall, and his day is coming.
Coming November 6, to be precise.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.