Paul Babeu Blasted Pima County Sheriff for Not Waiting "Until the Facts Come Out" Before Assigning Blame in 2011 Tucson Shooting; Babeu Should Follow His Own Advice

"I wish that everybody would just take a moment and, and try to calm this down and wait 'til the facts come out. And that's our job, [it's] not to insert our opinion, but to, to find out the facts and what truly happened."

Those were Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu words during a January 10, 2011 interview on Fox and Friends in response to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and others linking the Tucson massacre to Arizona's vitriolic political climate.

Babeu certainly didn't follow his own advice when the Pinal County Sheriff's Office was called out by the Border Patrol to the scene of a charred vehicle discovered in the desert with five bodies still smoldering inside.

Instead, he quickly attributed the deaths to a violent drug cartel hit and to an unsecured border. He was wrong. It turned out to be a murder/suicide involving a white Tempe family.

Babeu continued in that same 2011 interview:

This person clearly had mental health issues and concerns. And to ascribe political motives and then to go and, and to launch a political assault naming elected leaders in America and saying that this is connected when there is no basis in fact, uh, does nothing to help at a time when, when people's hearts are broken and really trying to assess what happened here, and you and all Americans look to law enforcement to find out the facts of truly what happened and not, not to give an opinion.

Yes, Babeu said it. But, it clearly doesn't apply to him.

Babeu was quick on the trigger when his deputies were called out to a scene with a charred-body-laden vehicle in the desert.

He gave media interviews, posted on Facebook, issued detailed press releases.

Babeu all but screamed, "It was the cartels! The border is not secure! See, I was right! I was right!"

Then he "launched a political attack," blasted the feds, namely Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who has said the border is more secure now than ever.

Babeu has been criticized by many -- immigration-rights groups, opponents who hope to unseat him in the sheriff's race, political commentators, and those who pontificate for a living -- because he was so quick to blame the border for a tragedy in his own backyard.

So we're going to pile on and point out what a hypocrite he is by dragging out his own words and letting him feast on them.

Watch his appearance on Fox and Friends.

In another interview with a Tucson radio show -- also about the Tucson shootings -- Babeu said:

And then, uh, Law Enforcement 101 tells an officer on the first day in the police academy, uh, that you don't rush to judgment. In fact, you should never give comments and ascribe any, any, anything from motive to information that would be purely conjecture, and, uh, just supposing things have happened. ... And then, and then, hours later, to have the Sheriff, really, with his credibility of his office, uh, to say the things that he did, was, was just unacceptable.

Law Enforcement 101? Maybe he needs a refresher course.

But again (like his mentor Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio), the rules don't apply to Babeu.

After the discovery of the burned bodies in the desert, before any meaningful investigation had taken place into the scene, Babeu told, that "this is what we call 'proof' and 'evidence' that the border is not more secure. We have serious problems with the drug trafficking by the cartels from Mexico."

What police work -- and what a powerful way to mislead the public. Babeu declaring that he has 'proof' of an unsecured border when this tragedy doesn't seem to even be linked to it.

What this actually proves is how desperate Babeu is to reignite his scandal-ridden political career after quitting his Congressional bid and booting his No. 2 guy (Chief Deputy Steve Henry) out of the Pinal County sheriff's race to run himself.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo