Here's a bit of Sheriff Joe under oath while being deposed in the Melendres vs. Arpaio racial profiling lawsuit, a deposition I blogged about a couple of days ago. (A transcript of Joe's depo is linked to therein.) Activist/videographer Dennis Gilman has posted a segment of the video, this part dealing with the sheriff's 2008 book Joe's Law: America's Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegal Immigration, Drugs and Everything Else That Threatens America.
A segment of video from Arpaio's recent deposition in the federal racial profiling lawsuit, culled by Dennis Gilman.
As I wrote in June of 2008, the book is a pack of prevarications and blowhardisms promulgated by Arpaio with the aid of his co-author and longtime sycophant Len Sherman. Back then, I figured Joe's claims to have participated in the French Connection bust and his tales of being targeted by an unlikely alliance of the Minutemen and the Mexican Mafia to be bogus. But I assumed that at least the personal stuff about his Italian immigrant parents represented his actual opinions.
Not so, according to Joe's depo, where he places the responsibility for endorsing nativist conspiracy theories about a Mexican reconquista of the American Southwest squarely on the shoulders of Sherman. Asked if he believes in the reconquista theory, Arpaio demurred.
"I'm not familiar with that," responded Arpaio. "Once again, this is something injected by the co-author. And I'm not familiar with that whole situation."
Earlier in the tape, Joe admits he hasn't read the entire book, and can't say if the book reflects his opinions. Later, he says he doesn't agree with a statement in the book contrasting his parents' views with those of Mexican immigrants.
Not shown in this segment is a part where Arpaio denies responsibility even for the subtitle of the book, which makes you wonder if Joe's die-hard supporters will now want the money back they spent on this bull tome.
Gilman sticks a bit of video on the end from one of the many book signings Arpaio gave in 2008 to pimp Joe's Law.
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"You wanna know about the illegal immigration problem?" asked Joe of a non-fan while holding up the hardback. "It's all in this book."
That snippet of video also belies another passage from the deposition, where plaintiffs' counsel David Bodney asked if Arpaio had "taken steps to promote the book."
Joe replied, "not really," other than "a few national television shows," when the book was first published.
A lot of folks have copies of the video now, including Channel 12, Gilman, yours truly, and many others, so expect more video from the seven hour depo to be posted in the coming days.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.