Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio on False McDonald's Arrest: Take All Brown People into Custody, Release Citizens Later

Arpaio shrugs off his arrest of an innocent American girl

If you're Hispanic in Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe's goons have probable cause to arrest you on suspicion of being undocumented. Hey, they can always release you later.

That's the word from the elephant's mouth after an MCSO raid on four area McDonald's yesterday that netted an American citizen, Viridiana Ramirez, who was cuffed and held for four hours as she pleaded with MCSO thugs that she was born in this country and could prove it.

What was Arpaio's response to the news that his Kris Kobach-trained deputies has violated the civil rights of a single mother and terrorized her no end?

"That's just normal police work, " he shrugged in a news conference following the raid. "Sometimes you do have probable cause, you do take people in for questioning, and they're released."

So it's arrest 'em if they're brown first, and sort 'em out later. False arrest and imprisonment be damned. 

Perhaps the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI should follow Arpaio's way of doing things. There's probable cause enough out there that Arpaio's deprived others of their civil rights and done so under the color of law.

So arrest him, and sort out the details later.

And when he whines about it, play a video of Arpaio's statement above. Just do so when I'm around so I can watch the look on his flaccid face.

Never has this county been so in need of federal intervention as it is now. Where are the feds? The DOJ's Civil Rights Division has been probing the MCSO for over a year. What is Attorney General Eric Holder waiting for, a gold-trimmed invitation to act?

U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke has a grand jury ongoing, investigating Arpaio's alleged criminal misdeeds. The same question goes for those involved in that inquiry.

How many more innocent people have to be arrested? How many more cases of racial profiling do there have to be? 

How many women will have their jaws busted and their arms broken, as has been the case for immigrant women held in Arpaio's jails?

It's not just women, of course. Last year Julio Mora, an American citizen, and his legal resident father were cuffed and held for three hours during the MCSO's violent immigration raid on Handyman Maintenance Inc., a county vendor.

Mora and his dad are now suing Sheriff Joe and the county. Ms. Ramirez should do the same, and extract her financial pound of flesh for Arpaio's misdeeds.

Arpaio acts as if he and his beige-shirts are above the law. They should not be. It's time for the feds to finally lay it down.

We're all tired of waiting. Tired of the excuses and dithering. Weary of watching yet another mother weep because of the way she was treated by Arpaio's roughneck Hispanic-hunters.

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