Joe Arpaio Lies, Insults His Deputies, Promises School-Posses with "Automatic and Semi-Automatic" Weapons

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Arpaio, howlin' at the moon in his appearance on the Thom Hartmann radio show: The fun begins about 16:18 in

Hat tip to Phoenix videographer Dennis Gilman for letting me know about Sheriff Joe Arpaio's appearance Thursday on the uber-lefty Thom Hartmann radio show, where he howled at the moon, boasted about B-movie has-been Steven Seagal being in his posse, having a .50 caliber gun (for what, no one knows), and how he's planning to have some of his Depends-wearin' posse alter kockers protect the kiddies with automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

See also: -Steven Seagal Resigned Rather Than Face IA Investigation, According to Sheriff Newell Normand -Joe Arpaio's School-Patrolling Posse Not POST Certified; I.E., They Ain't Cops -Joe Arpaio Releases List of Posse-Patrolled Schools, Talks Publicity Stunts

"My theory is, when you have marked cars around the schools," Joe growled at Hartmann, "with my posse having automatic weapons, and semi-automatic weapons, maybe somebody, the bad guy, may say, `I'm not going near that school.' So this is a deterrence or prevention also."

Hartmann, who is for stricter gun laws, natch, noted some statistic about how one shot in five hitting its target is "good shootin" for a cop in an emergency situation. He asked if Joe's posse members, specifically Seagal, whom Joe says carries an automatic weapon, could best that stat.

"Well," said ol' Joe, "I don't know about those circumstances. Why are we picking out some selected situations?"

"The reason I'm asking," replied Hartmann, "is I'm wondering if those other four bullets are going to hit kids. It's like, do we really want firefights going on around our schools?"

Wow, a shot of common sense across the bow. How about that?

Joe then quickly changes the subject, noting that one of his deputies had just been wounded by gunfire and was in the hospital, and he talked about another deputy of his killed while on duty.

"So these guys both had guns, and their guns didn't protect them?" asked Hartmann, cleverly.

But for our semi-senile autocrat, if the deputies involved had more firepower, they (magically) never would have been shot. That's why, he promised, he would be arming "all my deputies with automatic, semi-automatic weapons."

So both the posse members and all of the actual deputies will have automatic and semi-automatic weapons. That's a situation Hartmann compared to Uganda at the end of its civil war, or the current anarchy in Somalia.

Hey, maybe Joe should have his own nuke? I mean, why not? Then he could protect us from enemy attack as well. Better safe than sorry, right?

As for his geriatric posse men and women, each reeking of old-person smell, why, they're the same as deputies, Arpaio contended, a comparison I'm sure his actual deputies love.

"My posse have been through the same requirements as regular deputies," Arpaio prevaricated. "Over 100 hours of training, and refresher courses."

This, of course, is complete bullshit. As I pointed out in a recent post, Arpaio's posse members are not certified by the Arizona Peace Officer and Traininng Board.

That means they are not peace officers and do not have the power of arrest.

They may wear uniforms nearly-identical to actual MCSO deputies, but they are not trained like deputes are. Far from it. I'm not sure what this posse "training" actually entails, as AZ POST Executive Director Lyle Mann told me that POST provides zero training to Joe's posse.

According to POST's website, law enforcement agencies enroll their trainees in a POST-certified academy, where they will go through "a minimum of 585 hours of mandated training," and "pass a Comprehensive Final Examination."

Which, I reckon, is a good thing. To compare a pear-shaped posse member to a sworn officer is completely ridiculous. As ridiculous as Arpayaso himself.

Sure, some posse members are former LEOs and ex-military. But even if they've been POST certified in the past, or certified in some other state, if that certification has been inactive for three years after separation from a law enforcement agency, they must renew their certification, or they cannot be re-employed as cops.

The AZ POST website spells out the trouble with acting like a cop when you are not POST-certified:

"A person who has inactive peace officer certification has no law enforcement authority. A person with inactive certification who takes action as a peace officer under certain circumstances may be committing the crime of impersonating a public servant. In order to perform the duties of a peace officer or exercise the authority of a peace officer, a person must have both active peace officer certification and be authorized to exercise that authority or perform those duties by the appointing law enforcement agency."

Arpaio is practically encouraging his posse members to commit "the crime of impersonating a public servant."

I mean, why not identify these posse members as posse members, instead of allowing them to wear uniforms and drive cars that identify them as MCSO deputies, when they are not?

This latest stunt by Joe is a disaster waiting to happen. But hey, this is what 50.7 of the electorate in Maricopa County voted for. And we have four more years of it to endure.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.