Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio & Lt. Joe Sousa: We Don't Need No Stinking Badges!

In a mentally-challenged media stunt, made more so by the ravings of Rhode Island redneck Lt. Joe Sousa, Sheriff Joe's self-described unit commander for human smuggling, MCSO's 287(g) task force members placed their ICE agent badges in a punch bowl for cameras Thursday. This, so Sheriff Joe and his top Hispanic-hunter Sousa could kvetch to the reporters present.

I knew about yesterday's MCSO circus act, but I'm blocked by the MCSO from such press events held on county property. That's good for Sousa, because I would have loved to ask him about the American citizens and legal permanent residents arrested under his watch, as well as the broken arms and busted jaws some female immigrants have suffered at the hands of his deputies.

Sousa is the same vein-popping blowhard who told elected officials critical of his jefe Joe Arpaio to "Shut up!" in a press conference of deputies earlier this year. He's an unprofessional loudmouth, unworthy of any federal authority. Indeed, his statements today pegged him for the schmuck he is.

"The feds screwed us in Washington, not locally," the nasal-toned nudnik exclaimed at one point in the raw video on Channel 5's Web site. "Do we have to bleep that out, is `screwed' okay?"

Wow, and I thought Arpaio said stupid stuff. With Sousa, you can practically smell the locker room sweat on his breath.

Sousa also said he'd be happy to testify in any depositions concerning MCSO racial profiling, which he denies, BTW. Let's hope the ACLU's lawyers put him under oath in the big Melendres vs. Arpaio racial profiling suit. This doofus could be their star witness.

"We only stop vehicles for traffic infractions that violate state law," Sousa claimed of MCSO pull-overs. "Period. That's our only intent."

Really? Then how does Sousa explain the stop of Julio Mora and his dad Julian, who were on their way to the senior Mora's job at HMI in February when MCSO SUVs pulled them over? Julio is an American citizen. His dad is a legal permanent resident. Yet they were zip-tied and held for three hours by Sousa's fellow goons.

Oh, and in the case of the Moras, Sousa -- who sounds like Andrew Dice Clay's idiot brother -- didn't even have a "traffic infraction" as a pretext to stop their car. Sousa is the perfect example of why the MCSO has such a terrible rep with professional law enforcement agencies. (I do know that not all MCSO deputies are as moronic as Sousa, though the Sousa types are the ones that get the shine from the corrupt upper echelon.)

Sousa insists the MCSO doesn't racial-profile, then goes on to talk about how his unit tracks down drop-houses. Riiiight. Once in a blue moon, the MCSO busts a drop house. And when they do, they're so ham-fisted at it that they end up zip-tying legal residents and American citizen kids who just happen to live nearby, as they did in a recent central Phoenix raid.

Arpaio pretty much stuck to his script: Nothing's changed; I'm the poster boy; we don't need federal authority to pursue federal laws. Yadda-yadda-yadda. The lips flap, and my eyes droop.

As for racial profiling: "We don't round them up because they look like they came from a foreign country," sputtered Joe.

But then, he confessed, "I have to tell you something. It's not politically correct to say this. Where do you think 99 percent of the [undocumented] people come from? We happen to be next to the border."

Actually, Joe, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report, 57 percent of the undocumented come from Mexico. Twenty-four percent come from other Latin American countries. Nine percent hail from Asia, six percent from Canada and Europe, and four percent from African countries and other areas.

Regardless, the numbers are no license to profile. Thirty percent of Arizona's population is Hispanic according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And nothing gives Arpaio the right to treat all of those folks as suspects of anything.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons