Like you needed additional evidence that we live in a sick society, we now have "Mickey cam," a 24-7 camera fixed on a vicious pit bull that mauled the face of a little boy, leaving him with permanent, painful injuries.
Who's responsible for this obscenity? Who else? Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who this week, came one step closer to being held in criminal contempt by federal Judge G. Murray Snow in the racial-profiling case Melendres v. Arpaio.
If we're lucky, Arpaio will one day be sharing a jail cell with Mickey, who was saved from euthanasia by an Internet outcry that demonstrates for the umpteenth time how some so-called humans value the lives of canines over children.
I'm not holding my breath. Arpaio has always wiggled out of responsibility for his actions. Though I'm hoping he's met his match in Judge Snow.
His contretemps with the judge aside, Arpaio is a successful demagogue largely because he's been able to tap into the prejudices and sentiments of the populace.
And here in Maricopa County, the majority loves dogs a lot more than people, especially if those people are brown.
When Arpaio's gone on racial-profiling sweeps of Hispanic neighborhoods, or raided businesses, hunting for undocumented cooks and cleaners, he's been cheered.
Likewise, when he's rallied to the defense of mutts, turning accidents into crimes, as he did in the case of Chandler cop Thomas Lovejoy or in the more recent Green Acre Dog Boarding case, the sheriff's received huzzahs aplenty.
So when it comes to Mickey the pit bull and his victim, four year-old Kevin Vicente, Arpaio gets a PR two-fer.
ABC 15's report on Kevin Vicente...
Vicente's injuries from the February attack are severe, have required multiple surgeries, and have left him blind in one eye and scarred for life.
A March Arizona Republic article included the following description of the mauling:
According to a county report on the attack, Kevin was playing with other children in the yard where his baby-sitter had taken him when he ran past Mickey, who was chained. Kevin walked within the radius of the 18-foot chain. The dog caught the boy from behind, took him to the ground and attacked his face, according to the report. Adults were present and pulled the dog off.
Kevin arrived at Maricopa Medical Center with skin and tissue ripped off his face, a broken eye socket, detached tear ducts and a fractured jaw. He underwent 51/2 hours of surgery.
He is expected to have permanent scarring.
"The injury that he had was extraordinarily graphic. ... Most people would not be able to stomach the visualization," said Dr. Salvatore Lettieri, a Mayo Clinic physician serving as chief of plastic surgery at the county hospital. "The medical professionals that were caring for him were bothered beyond normal to see the extent of injury that he had."
One witness says Kevin picked up a bone belonging to the dog prior to the attack. The dog's attorney John Schill has used this to argue that the four year-old boy deserved his fate.
"Everybody supports Mickey," Schill told the Republic. "So few people think that Mickey should be put down that it's ridiculous. Everybody is taught, from the moment they walk, you do not take a bone from a dog."
This insensitive idiot is the same jackass attorney who's been leading the lynch mob in the Green Acre Dog Boarding case, representing the owners of the 20-plus dogs that died at the facility in June in a tragic accident that's been turned criminal through Arpaio's machinations.
Mickey was saved from being euthanized in part because of Schill's advocacy and Arpaio's willingness to board the dog in his Maricopa County Sheriff's Animal Safe House, known as his "MASH Unit."
Schill and another Mickey supporter supposedly donated the funds for the Mickey cam. Footage of the dog is being live-streamed through the MCSO's website.
Arpaio and his supporters, and, let's be honest, the public at large have been less concerned with Kevin's life-changing injuries or his mounting medical bills.
ABC 15 reporter Elizabeth Erwin's recent piece on Arpaio's asinine dog cam thankfully focused more on the little boy.
The boy's mom Flor Vicente reportedly has had to quit work to stay home with Kevin full time.
The images of the child in Erwin's story are heartrending, as is the report itself.
Check this passage from an article accompanying the video on ABC 15's site:
Kevin is five years old now and trying to understand why his face hurts all the time.
"The doctor says his scars are always going to hurt," Flor said.
Flor says what Sheriff Arpaio is doing for Mickey is the least of her concerns.
"My focus is on my son, I don't think about the dog," she said.
Her top priority right now is helping her son heal and figuring out how to pay his mounting medical bills.
"For Christmas Kevin wanted a big tree but we couldn't afford it," Flor said.
The gift Flor hopes she can someday give Kevin is one no parent should have to consider.
"In the future I hope that Kevin can open his eye. I hope he can heal and get rid of as many scars as possible," Flor said.
Friends of Flor Vicente have set up a new Indiegogo account to raise money for the injured child.
"Please help donate to Kevin," it asks. "Let's show that his life matters, and that our children always come first."
The Maricopa Medical Center also has a page dedicated to raising money for Kevin's surgeries.
Arpaio's new doggie cam is nauseating. And the bigotry behind it is blatant.
Why don't Arpaio and his followers focus their pity on the mauled child?
In part, because they secretly relish the damage done to the kid. When Arpaio smooches Mickey, it's with a wink and a nod to the haters out there, validating their sadism and their racism.
I may be wrong, but I seriously doubt that pit bull would be alive if Kevin was a little white child, whose mother spoke English fluently.
And, if that were the case, you can also bet the donations would have poured in.
Only one way to prove me wrong: donate to Kevin's cause.
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