Just one day after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio made his latest
plea for attention hint that he would run for governor, a group dedicated to bringing him down achieved a milestone.
As of yesterday, the Facebook group People Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio has attracted 25,000 members in the roughly two months it's been operational.
Devin Fleenor, founder of the group, tells New Times this is only the beginning of what he hopes is the end of Arpaio's reign over Maricopa County.
"This is a great start, but we need more. Many more," Fleenor says. "I hope that people will find safety in numbers. Many do not speak out against Arpaio out of fear -- will they now step out of the shadows with 25,000 others? How about 50,000 or 100,000?"
We asked Fleenor why he thought the group was getting so much attention and he had this to say: "Because the tide is turning. There are more good people than bad. Will it get worse before it gets better? I think so, but we are well on our way."
The group got some minor attention a couple of months ago when someone posted a Google map and a Google Earth image of Arpaio's Fountain Hills home.
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As you may recall, New Times had (ahem) a little issue with the sheriff and his thugs over a similar situation, and we all know how that turned out. If ya don't, click here.
Fleenor tells us that he's planning an anti-Arpaio concert at a First Friday later on this year and is in the process of having an anti-Joe mural painted at 3rd Street and Garfield.
Arpaio isn't the only one in Fleenor's crosshairs -- he's got his eye on a few of Arizona's other brown-bashers.
"Obviously, I want Arpaio out of office. But it doesn't stop there. I have other bigots in my sights: Russell Pearce, Andrew Thomas, etc." says Fleenor, a masters sudent in psychology at ASU. "I see Arizona as ground zero -- we're becoming the poster-child for racism, fear, and hatred. Hopefully some of our efforts will raise awareness and build momentum for federal immigration reform. This problem is all of ours - it's time for us to start fixing it."