U.S. Politics

Sheriff Arpaio hired former employee, convicted child-sex criminal, for armed school “posse”

Arpaio's posse via CBS 5 video.
Arpaio’s fit and nimble posse via CBS 5 video.

Unbelievable and outrageous on so many levels…


Our own Jon Green wrote in December about how, following the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, GOP Sheriff Joe Arpaio was going to have his 3,000-strong gun-toting “posse” of volunteers patrolling Arizona’s schools, just like the NRA wanted. (This article was co-authored by John Aravosis.)

Today we find out that the posse reportedly included at least one man convicted of sex crimes against children.  And even worse, and what no one has apparently yet realizedThe convicted child sex criminal posse member worked for Arpaio for years in the Sheriff’s office until he was arrested in 2009.

Are we to believe that Arpaio had no idea who this guy was?

Armed child-sex criminals roaming Arizona’s schools.  What could possibly go wrong?

What’s worse is that Arpaio has been facing heavy criticism for his alleged laxity on prosecuting sex crimes, particularly sex crimes against children.  From the NYT:

Sheriff Arpaio, the top law enforcement official in sprawling Maricopa County, is perhaps best known for his hard-nosed treatment of prisoners and his aggressive raids aimed at illegal immigrants. But it is his department’s approach to more than 400 sex-crimes cases that has Sheriff Arpaio in trouble.

His deputies failed to investigate or conducted only the sketchiest of inquiries into hundreds of sex crimes between 2005 and 2007, investigations by Arizona law enforcement agencies have shown. Many of those cases involved molested children.

And only today we find out that after a lengthy five-year investigation, Arpaio has decided that no particular person is to blame for “hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations by the Maricopa County sheriff’s special-victims unit.”  From the Arizona Republic, today:

A five-year investigation that produced nearly 10,000 pages of documents draws no clear conclusion on who is to blame for hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations by the Maricopa County sheriff’s special-victims unit.

The Sheriff’s Office on Monday released results of its long-running probe into why the unit mishandled sex-crime cases. It concluded that no single person was responsible for systemic failures that resulted in hundreds of cases being reopened.

Last year, an Arizona Republic investigation into the 400-plus reopened cases revealed that the Sheriff’s Office failed to adequately investigate reports of sex abuse and assault — in some cases never interviewing suspects or running background checks on known offenders.

Some sex-crime complaints were completely ignored. In other cases, files were later found gathering dust in a drawer or in a deputy’s garage. Those shortcomings, combined with lengthy delays in resolving cases, left alleged predators free to find other victims — sometimes for years.

So what happens?  The sheriff accused of having lax standards for investigating sex crimes against children didn’t do a sufficient investigation to weed out a school posse member who had a record of sex crimes against children.

The controversial sheriff has teamed up with actor Steven Seagal to teach his “posse” how to handle school shooting incidents, and liquor story robberies.  (Despite being 60 years old, actor Seagal claims to have “hundreds of thousands if not millions of hours into my weapons training.” I did the math.  A million hours would make Segal 114 years old.)  One presumes Seagal will be showing the fat old men how to do Aikido, when they’re not beating their wives, getting high, or committing sex crimes against children.


America’s Craziest Sheriff Sends Vigilantes To Arizona Schools (Posse Comitatus)

Thousands of armed vigilantes in Arizona schools.  What could possibly go wrong? (Sheesh!)

Think Progress

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will begin sending armed “posses” to patrol around Arizona schools today, in response to the shooting less than a month ago at Sandy Hook elementary school.

Arpaio made a name for himself by abusing the civil rights of undocumented immigrants — and fordetaining a six year old undocumented child. Now he’s heeding the NRA’s advice that every school needs a “guy with a gun” and is sending out volunteers “with questionable pasts” to guard students:

Arizona’s 3TV reports that Arpaio’s volunteer force is comprised of around 3,000 members, some of which have criminal pasts.

According to CBS5, Arpaio’s office has provided a list of more than 50 schools in unincorporated Maricopa County that will be patrolled by the posses, which are in charge of providing all of their own weapons and equipment. The volunteers will not actually be posted on school campuses, but will instead monitor the areas around the facilities.[…]

The program is getting started as Arpaio prepares to be sworn in for his sixth term on Monday. The volunteer patrols will kick into full gear on Wednesday, and will be rolled out with a press conference.

Arpaio has thought of less friendly uses for firearms in his recent past. Back in November, the sheriff decided to arm his deputies with automatic weapons to stop “illegal aliens” “attempting to escape” his county.

Dream Act

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Arrests 6-Year-Old Undocumented Immigrant

This is insane…

Think Progress

Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona Sheriff from Maricaopa County, arrested a 6-year-old undocumented immigrant on Friday. The move came the same day President Obama announced a new policy halting deportations for young undocumented immigrants.

The Arizona Republic has the story:

The girl was with 15 other people believed to be in the country illegally who were traveling to the Midwest and northeast United States, said Chris Hegstrom, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

“She’s been turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to try to determine where she’s from. She told us she’s from El Salvador. That’s what she told us,” he said.

The arrest took place Friday night at an undisclosed location in northern Maricopa County…

The sheriff said his deputies arresting child suspected of being an illegal immigrant the same day Obama implemented the policy is a coincidence. But if more illegal children enter the country after hearing about the new policy, Arpaio said it may not be by happenstance.

“Are we going to get more of these situations where illegals feel like now they’re going to be safe? I don’t know,” he said.

Immediately following the President’s announcement Arpaio told a local ABC affiliate that it would not impact his approach toward young undocumented immigrants. “They will still be arrested,” he said.

Arpaio is currently being sued by the Department of Justice for mulitple civil rights violations. He also admitted to using taxpayer resources to pursue an investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate, a widely debunked conspiracy theory.

Related articles

U.S. Politics

Sherrif Joe Sends Birther ‘Investigators’ To Hawaii On Taxpayer Dime, Including Sheriff’s Deputy

I’m  amused by groups in the Tea Party or GOP who have looked for almost six years to find some dirt on Barack Obama.  It appears that the POTUS is just a normal, everyday American.

At what point do these Obama Derangement Syndrome characters realize that there’s no smoking gun out there?

Addicting Info

Joe Arpaio,Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, and one of the leading lights of the tragically dim ‘birther movement,’ has enlisted a sworn deputy to act as “security” in Hawaii for his ‘investigation.’ Arpaio has made a lot of noise in the past about his ‘Cold-Case Posse,’ and it’s supposed reliance on volunteers and donated funds, but now his investigation appears to need the use of a taxpayer-funded deputy.

What’s more, the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office has also provided the cost of airfare and hotel rooms for the deputy, as well as ‘volunteer posse member’ Mike Zullo. Arpaio says he expects to reimburse those costs, but why should Arizona taxpayers be expected to fund any part of this ridiculous vendetta?

Aside from all the usual motivations that most ‘birthers’ bring to the table, Sheriff Joe has an extra incentive in trying to displace President Obama; Arpaio’s administration is under investigation by the Justice Department for a variety of offenses that, of course, include racial discrimination.

And while it’s not unusual to find strains of racism at the heart of the movement, it’s not every birther that the Justice Department investigates.

It seems as though Arpaio is throwing all his (and now, Arizona’s) resources into some kind of 11th-hour, last-ditch B-movie quality conspiracy investigation that will show the president to be a foreign pretender. And cast himself as humble Sheriff Joe, the hero that saved the day. And while he contends that his investigations aren’t politically motivated, he has also claimed that they were all privately funded.

Arpaio contends that the deputy is a legitimate expenditure, “It’s one deputy, so what? We have security issues, too, that I can’t got into. For six months we were not spending any money. When you’re doing investigations sometimes things change, you put more resources into it.”

He also insists that the deputy is not expected to make any arrests saying, “He’s just a liaison to give advice if needed. He’s not doing anything. The posse’s been doing the research.”

So, now that law enforcement resources have been brought in, can we assume that Joe is that much closer to arresting Obama?

U.S. Politics

Ten Most Disturbing Anti-Latino Practices Described By DOJ’s Lawsuit Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Arpaio has always been an ass and continues to be one to this day…

Think Progress

Earlier today, the Department of Justice filed a formal legal complaint against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) alleging widespread constitutional violations and lawless mistreatment of Latinos. According to the complaint, Arpaio and his staff engaged in widespread, violent and demeaning mistreatment of Latino residents of Maricopa County, often targeting individuals solely because of their race:

  1. Forcing Women To Sleep In Their Own Menstrual Blood: In Arpaio’s jails, “female Latina LEP prisoners have been denied basic sanitary items. In some instances, female Latina LEP prisoners have been forced to remain with sheets or pants soiled from menstruation because of MCSO’s failure to ensure that detention officers provide language assistance in such circumstances.”
  2. Assaulting Pregnant Women: “[A]n MCSO officer stopped a Latina woman – a citizen of the United States and five months pregnant at the time – as she pulled into her driveway. After she exited her car, the officer then insisted that she sit on the hood of the car. When she refused, the officer grabbed her arms, pulled them behind her back, and slammed her, stomach first, into the vehicle three times. He then dragged her to the patrol car and shoved her into the backseat. He left her in the patrol car for approximately 30 minutes without air conditioning. The MCSO officer ultimately issued a citation for failure to provide identification.”
  3. Stalking Latina Women: “In another instance, during a crime suppression operation, two MCSO officers followed a Latina woman, a citizen of the United States, for a quarter of a mile to her home. The officers did not turn on their emergency lights, but insisted that the woman remain in her car when she attempted to exit the car and enter her home. The officers’ stated reasons for approaching the woman was a non-functioning license plate light. When the woman attempted to enter her home, the officers used force to take her to the ground, kneed her in the back, and handcuffed her. The woman was then taken to an MCSO substation, cited for ‘disorderly conduct,’ and returned home. The disorderly conduct citation was subsequently dismissed.”
  4. Criminalizing Being A Latino: “During raids, [Arpaio’s Criminal Enforcement Squad] typically seizes all Latinos present, whether they are listed on the warrant or not. For example, in one raid CES had a search warrant for 67 people, yet 109 people were detained. Fifty-nine people were arrested and 50 held for several hours before they were released. Those detained, but not on the warrant, were seized because they were Latino and present at the time of the raid. No legal justification existed for their detention.”
  5. Criminalizing Living Next To The Wrong People: “[D]uring a raid of a house suspected of containing human smugglers and their victims . . . officers went to an adjacent house, which was occupied by a Latino family. The officers entered the adjacent house and searched it, without a warrant and without the residents’ knowing consent. Although they found no evidence of criminal activity, after the search was over, the officers zip-tied the residents, a Latino man, a legal permanent resident of the United States, and his 12-year-old Latino son, a citizen of the United States, and required them to sit on the sidewalk for more than one hour, along with approximately 10 persons who had been seized from the target house, before being released.”
  6. Ignoring Rape: Because of Arpaio’s obsessive focus on “low-level immigration offenses” his officers failed “to adequately respond to reports of sexual violence, including allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse of girls.”
  7. Widespread Use Of Racial Slurs: “MCSO personnel responsible for prisoners held in MCSO jails routinely direct racial slurs toward Latino prisoners, including calling Latino prisoners ‘paisas,’ ‘wetbacks,’ ‘Mexican bitches,’ ‘fucking Mexicans,’ and ‘stupid Mexicans.’”
  8. Widespread Racial Profiling: “[I]n the southwest portion of the County, the study found that Latino drivers are almost four times more likely to be stopped by MCSO officers than non-Latino drivers engaged in similar conduct. . . . In the northwest portion of the County, the study found that Latino drivers are over seven times more likely to be stopped by MCSO officers than non-Latino drivers engaged in similar conduct. . . . Most strikingly, in the northeast portion of the County, the study found that Latino drivers are nearly nine times more likely to be stopped by MCSO officers than non-Latino drivers engaged in similar conduct.”
  9. Random, Unlawful Detention Of Latinos: “MCSO officers stopped a car carrying four Latino men, although the car was not violating any traffic laws. The MCSO officers ordered the men out of the car, zip-tied them, and made them sit on the curb for an hour before releasing all of them. The only reason given for the stop was that the men’s car ‘was a little low,’ which is not a criminal or traffic violation.”
  10. Group Punishments For Latinos: “In some instances, when a Latino [Low English Proficiency] prisoner has been unable to understand commands given in English, MCSO detention officers have put an entire area of the jail in lockdown—effectively preventing all the prisoners in that area from accessing a number of privileges because of the Latino LEP prisoner’s inability to understand English, inciting hostility toward the LEP prisoner, and potentially placing MCSO officers and other prisoners in harm’s way.”
U.S. Politics

Arpaio asks for Obama’s Selective Service card

In my opinion, this guy is in way over his head with his embrace of birtherism…

Arizona Daily Star

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has asked the Selective Service System for help in his investigation into the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The sheriff has asked the federal agency for the original Selective Service card completed by Obama in 1980.

Arpaio says his investigators had concluded Obama’s registration card was likely a forgery.

The sheriff says he trusts that the federal agency will investigate Obama’s card.

No one answered the phone late Wednesday afternoon at Selective Service headquarters in Virginia.

So-called “birthers” maintain Obama is ineligible to be president because, they contend, he was born in Kenya.

Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama’s citizenship.

Obama released a copy of his long-form birth certificate in an attempt to quell citizenship questions.

Courts have rebuffed lawsuits over the issue.

U.S. Politics

Friday Blog Round Up

Wisconsin Voter ID Supporter Caught Voting for Colleague 

Obama proposes online “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” 

Fact-checking the Arizona presidential debate 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio to announce results of his Obama birth certificate ‘investigation’ 

Female witness hits back at GOP: ‘I’m a woman who uses contraception, that makes me qualified’ to testify 

Gay Marriage Passes in Maryland; Twitter Awaits Santorum’s Reaction 

The Tea Party Loves Socialism, Fakes Otherwise

Greta Van Susteren Enables Franklin Graham’s Holy War Against Obama 

Malkin Calls Obama A “Religious Menace” 

Once again, speculators behind sharply rising oil and gasoline prices



Arpaio: I briefed Santorum on birth certificate investigation

CNN Politics

Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, briefed GOP contender Rick Santorum on his investigation into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the controversial law enforcement official told reporters Tuesday.

After a speech to a Republican gathering in Phoenix where Santorum appeared earlier in the day, Arpaio explained he wanted to inform the candidate of his investigation “as a matter of fairness in case he wouldn’t want me to support him.”

Arpaio said he plans to endorse one of the four remaining GOP candidates in the coming weeks. But the sheriff added he would not make his choice known before he announces the findings of his birth certificate probe at a news conference set for March 1st. This endorsement would be his second in the race; in November 2011, he endorsed then-candidate Rick Perry.

Santorum, he said, seemed to have no problem with the nature of his investigation.

“He had no problems with what I told him that I may be doing,” Arpaio told reporters.

The sheriff said he is conducting the investigation after receiving requests from “the tea party.”

Arpaio added he believes he is doing the president a favor.

“I really started this on the theory that maybe I could clear this mess up,” Arpaio told reporters. “Wouldn’t it be nice for me to do that?”

The White House released the president’s birth certificate last year. Officials in Hawaii where Obama was born have verified its authenticity.

A federal Department of Justice investigation into Arpaio’s office made public in December described “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos at MCSO that reaches the highest levels of the agency.”

He dismissed the allegations as a politically-driven “witch hunt.”

Also see:

Paul ad slams Santorum

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian Faith

Related articles
U.S. Politics

Federal Judge orders Sheriff Arpaio to stop arresting people simply because he thinks they are undocumented

Think Progress

Less than two weeks after the Department of Justice found widespread lawlessness and abuse of Latinos by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies, an Arizona federal judge ordered Arpaio to end one of his most abusive practices — detaining and arresting people who have committed no crime merely because his office suspects them of being undocumented.

The court also certified this lawsuit against Arpaio as a class action, thereby empowering any Latino stopped or detained by Arpaio’s office since 2007 or at any point in the future to enforce the court order.

U.S. Politics

Man Brain Dead After ‘Excessive Force’ Used At Jail Overseen By Arpaio

It looks like Arpaio’s days as the Maricopa County Sheriff may be numbered, with this latest newsreport…

Think Progress

On the heels of a Justice Department report accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Latinos, Arpaio’s department is under fire after an inmate became unresponsive while in custody and is now likely brain dead, according to media reports.

The victim, Ernest M. Atencio, was brought to the Phoenix jail at 3 a.m. Friday when he became “abusive and combative, forcing police and sheriff’s deputies to use ‘defensive efforts’ in restraining him.” Officers took Atencio to a “safe cell” to calm down, and when medical staff checked on him 15 minutes later, he was unresponsive.

The Daily Mail reports that officers used “excessive force,” and Atencio’s family claims he suffered a heart attack after being Tasered by police and did not receive treatment soon enough. “We have to do an investigation,”Arpaio said about the incident. “We do it all the time, we have an incident in the jails…we’re going to do this one too, very professionally.”