| News |

Joe Arpaio Offers to Send Armed Posse to Mary Rose Wilcox Immigration Rally

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.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio offered Mary Rose Wilcox "extra security" at her upcoming immigration rally, in the form of armed posse members.

Seeing as Arpaio and Wilcox have been feuding about as long as the Hatfields and McCoys, Wilcox was quick to reject the offer, saying it "reeks of an attempt to intimidate those of us who support immigration reform."

See also:
-MCSO Enjoined from Racially Profiling Latinos

Indeed the offer was essentially made through the press, and the Sheriff's Office included a flyer for Wilcox's event, which includes an endorsement of Wilcox's congressional campaign from Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who's expected to attend Friday's rally in Laveen:

"Mary Rose Wilcox had the guts to take on Sheriff Joe when other people kept quiet . . . "

Arpaio's office issued a press release offering the "extra security" to Wilcox, along with a formal letter to Wilcox with the offer -- a letter that was dated yesterday.

According to the press release from Arpaio's office:

Sheriff Arpaio's letter to Mrs. Wilcox references his pledge in January 2011, in the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Tucson that severely injured congresswoman Gabby Giffords and took the lives of several others, that he would offer extra security in the form of armed posse volunteers to public office holders conducting public meetings.

Yet, we can't remember a single press release between January 2011 and now in which Arpaio offered "extra security" to a politician.

"I am very serious about protecting our public officials," Arpaio says in his press release. "Also, my goal is to preserve the peace, maintain order and enforce all the laws."

Of course, in the Arpaio Thesaurus, enforce all the laws is a classic term meaning arresting legal and/or illegal immigrants. (Recall that Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, the namesake of the Melendres v. Arpaio lawsuit, was in the country legally when he was arrested by MCSO and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which eventually released him.)

As you can imagine, the last thing on earth Wilcox would do is respond with thanks for Arpaio. She issued the following statement in response:

"If Sheriff Joe were honestly interested in providing security to our town hall on Friday in support of immigration reform, he would not have made his offer through the press. He also would not have offered to send his armed civilian posse. Unfortunately, we've seen this move before. His 'offer' reeks of an attempt to intimidate those of us who support immigration reform. It has been well-documented that the Sheriff's posse includes those with criminal records. Sheriff Arpaio's views against immigration reform are also well-known."

You can read Arpaio's letter to Wilcox below:

Arpaio Letter to Wilcox

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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.