Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez, who bravely defied Sheriff Joe last night.
Last night was a night of high drama as Sheriff Joe brought his illegal immigrant dragnet to the small town of Guadalupe, and the citizens and the mayor of that city demanded Joe leave. Last night around 10:30, Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez personally presented Joe a statement to this effect in the parking lot of the Family Dollar where the MCSO was stationed. According to Jimenez, Joe accused her of inciting a riot and informed her she had 90 days to cancel Guadalupe's contract with the MCSO to provide law enforcement to the town. Jimenez and other town council members present said they would be reviewing the MCSO's contract.
Jimenez's release states in part:
"Sheriff Arpaio's attempt to push his own political agenda, from the State's largest municipality to the state's smallest municipality, shows that he disregards his statutory obligations to provide unbiased law enforcement to the residents of this county and should not be based on legal status. We are asking the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to cease their operation immediately."
Jimenez told me that the MCSO had informed the city that it would be doing an anti-graffiti operation and that she was promised that it would not be one of Joe's anti-illegal sweeps. If that's the case, I'd say she was a little gullible on that front considering Joe's recent activities. However, she bravely made up for this with her defiant press release and by insisting to Joe in person that he amscray.
This capped off an evening of spirited protest by about 200 or so demonstrators, and many drivers-by who honked their horns in agreement. While I was there, Rusty Childress' United for a Sovereign America was nowhere to be seen. People were angered by the MCSO's harassment of their fellow citizens, and many of those present had walked from their homes to be there. I think the demonstrations will be even larger today, as city leaders had initially asked residents to attend prayer vigils being held in different churches rather than protest the Sheriff on site. But obviously, all bets are off now.
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The MCSO's stops were petty and pathetic. I rode along with one loosely organized group that monitors the MCSO and videotapes the traffic stops they're making. One lady was stopped and cited for "improper use of horn" (a favorite citation of the evening) because she had honked her horn in solidarity with the demonstrators. Another guy was stopped and cited for a cracked tail light right in front of his house. Still another fella was pulled over because the little light over his license plate was out.
Back at the Family Dollar on Calle Guadalupe, another lady, a full-blooded Yaqui Indian (the town is half Yaqui, half Mexican) told me she was stopped as she was walking to the protest and asked for her I.D. She has lived in Guadalupe all her life. I guess WWB, Walking While Brown, is considered probable cause by the MCSO.
For the Guadalupe operation alone, Sheriff Joe should have his 287g agreement with ICE jerked. That's the agreement that allows specially-trained MCSO to enforce immigration law under limited circumstances. How much more obvious can it be that Arpaio is abusing this authority and terrorizing Valley communities with these bogus and illegal anti-immigrant dragnets? When will the Feds wake up and halt Joe's reign of terror and error?
Note: I have a load of pics, but I don't have time to post them right now. Will have to get them up later today. Thanks for your patience.