Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that he's a patriot for putting 38 inmates on a bread-and-water diet for defacing American flag stickers.
Arpaio announced his publicity stunt of putting the stickers in each cell in November, as part of what he called a "patriotic theme" at county jails, which also includes daily sing-alongs of "God Bless America."
-Arpaio Wants "Patriotic Theme" at Jails; He Should Consider Copy of the Constitution
"These inmates have destroyed the American flag that was placed in their cells," Arpaio says in a press release. "Tearing them, writing on them, stepping on them, throwing them in the toilet, trash or wherever they feel, it's a disgrace to those who have fought for our county [sic]. Besides this is government property that they are destroying, and we will take action against those who act this way."
The press release continues, "Patriotism and a respect for veterans is a hallmark of Sheriff Arpaio."
No mention of the constitutional abuses carried out by Arpaio and his office. Just in the past year, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ruled in the Melendres v. Arpaio civil-rights case that Arpaio and MCSO violated individuals' Fourth and 14th Amendment rights.
Nor is there mention of the Justice Department's allegation that Arpaio's office engages in a pattern and practice of "discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional law enforcement actions against Latinos who are frequently stopped, detained, and arrested on the basis of race, color, or national origin."
Nor is there a mention of Arpaio's involvement in the 2007 false arrests of New Times' co-founders, which resulted in a $3.75 million settlement last month.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Nor is there mention of a $3.25 million settlement to the family of Deborah Braillard, the diabetic mom who died after Arpaio's detention officers denied her medical treatment.
Nor is there mention of the death of Army veteran Marty Atencio, who died after being beaten and tased by jail staff in one of Arpaio's jail cells.
Arpaio's not choking down bread and water as punishment for either of those unpatriotic acts.