Why Sheriff Joe is Still Sheriff

For those of you not in Arizona that wonder from all the articles about him why Sheriff Joe is still elected by almost landslide majorities, and why Republicans all over the state still beg him for his endorsement, here it is:

A subsequent examination of the sheriff's file showed that residents of Maricopa County wrote to him regarding the presence of Mexicans in greater Phoenix.

Citizens saw day laborers. They saw people with brown skin. They heard Spanish spoken.

And what the letters reveal is enormous anxiety about Hispanics:

  • "I always see numerous Mexicans standing around in that area . . . These Mexicans swarmed around my car, and I was so scared and alarmed . . . I was never so devastated in my life regarding these circumstances . . . Although the Mexicans at this location may be within their legal right to be there . . . I merely bring this matter to your attention in order that all public agencies, FBI, etc., may be kept informed of these horrific circumstances."
  • "I would love to see an immigrant sweep conducted in Surprise, specifically at the intersection of Grand and Greenway. The area contains dozens of day workers attempting to flag down motorists seven days a week."
  • "The Mesa police chief drags his feet and stalls . . . the head of the Mesa police union is a Hispanic."
  • "As a retiree in Sun City, formerly from Minnesota, I am a fan of yours and what you are doing to rid the area of illegal immigrants . . . when I was in McDonald's at Bell Road and Boswell (next to the Chase Bank) this noon, there was not an employee in sight, or within hearing, who spoke English as a first language — to my dismay. From the staff at the registers to the staff back in the kitchen area, all I heard was Spanish — except when they haltingly spoke to a customer. You might want to check this out."

And Sheriff Arpaio did check it out.

None of the Hispanics described in the letters had broken the law. It is not against the law to speak Spanish or work as a day laborer.

Arpaio nonetheless gave the correspondence to Deputy Chief Brian Sands. Federal Judge Snow determined that raids and roundups quickly followed. Hispanics were rousted because white people were uncomfortable.

Sheriff Joe once did a roundup in tony Fountain Hills, which I would be surprised if it had even 5% Hispanic population, and managed to drag in for various petty violations (e.g. cracked windshield) a group that was about 95% Hispanic.  His favorite thing to do, when he isn't busting into homes with Hollywood celebrities, is to send his deputies into a business and have them handcuff everyone with brown skin and refuse to release them until they or their family members have arrived to prove they are in the US legally.

This whole article is a good roundup of yet another abusive side of Arpaio, his flagrant disregard for public records laws and the rules of evidence.  In Maricopa County, "exculpatory evidence" and "shredded" have roughly the same meaning.


  1. marco73:

    If they are so afraid of Mexicans, why in the world did these folks move to Arizona? Did they not consult a map, and see that Arizona borders, um, Mexico?

  2. Max:

    To me this guy sounds like a racist. Isn't there some code of conduct where you can sue him for being just that: a racist? Shouldn't be too hard to make a case on that basis.

    All in all these people complaining sound a lot less fun to live with than those Mexicans. Hope that at some point there will be more Mexicans than those folks and they just can turn the vote around have those xenophobs kicked around for a change.

  3. mr_subjunctive:

    Ah. Thanks. I truly had wondered.

  4. Tony Hansen:

    Nothing really changes. A few hundred years ago, the local residents were also upset with the newcomers who spoke Spanish.

  5. scott nelson:

    Just one side of the story and one obviously written to portray the opinion of the author as fact.

  6. Mark:

    @Scott, I do frequently wonder about people who need racism so bad that they project it upon others.

    Squatting on a Home Depot corner, and using their parking lot as a bathroom, is not exactly a legal activity. Doesn't matter what the race of the people.

    It is also interesting that in cities where zero tolerance was enacted, crime rates fell fast. Giuliani, was early with this philosophy in New York. Yes it just so happens that folks from lower income groups get caught more, but the fact that there is race disparity, might have something to do with Arizona not being diverse enough in the low end of the income spectrum.

    The racism is in the lack of diversity, need to force more whites, blacks, and Asians to be low income in Arizona and your problem is solved.

  7. Frank Waleczak:

    @Mark, none to worry, the present administration is working on getting more people into 'the low end of the income spectrum.'

  8. Bill:

    Sounds like a good start to me.

  9. Ted Rado:

    It is cerainly outrageous to roust someone simply because they are Latino. However, the USG has ignored the immigration laws for decades, as well as having had an amnessty program many years ago. This encourages illegal immigration, as the illegals have reason to believe they will not be tossed out, and may perhaps be part of a future amnesty program.

    I am an immigrant myself. My father brought the family to the US from Europe in 1930 when I was a toddler (legally!). In those days, new immigrants wanted to become Americans as quickly as possible. We learned English and became part of the fabric of America. In a generation or so, everyone moved out of ethnic neighborhoods and became truly Americans in thought and action.

    I have a couple of impreassions of the current situation. Democrats like a high Latino population as most vote Democrat. Businessmen like the cheap labor. Between the two, the USG turns a blind eye. The Latinos contribute to the problem (all too often) by keeping to themselves and not learning fluent English. This also perpetuates them in the lower economic stratum.

    If we intend to ignore the immigration laws, let's change them. It is rediculous to have laws on the books that are not enforced.

    I can't believe that people of good will cannot find a scheme to deal with the problem that is both humane and sensible. Under the present system, I can't blame the citizens of AZ for being outraged at the USG and the "kick the can down the road" spineless politicians. Joe Arpaio, although a bit over the top, merely reflects this outrage and frustration. The president does nothing except make jokes about the Republicans wanting a moat with alligators. What drivel.

    It would not bother me a bit if the police pulled me over and asked for proof of citizenship. I see nothing offensive about this. Stopping people who look like Mexicans surely makes sense if we are trying to stop illegals from Mexico. The TSA searched blond 80 year old ladies along with near-east appearing individuals to be politically correct. What rubbish. We need to stop this idiocy and solve the problem.

  10. Steve-O:

    I don't care for Joe, and am troubled by his methods for rousting illegals in that it may threaten civil liberties of US citizens, but every "Mexican" depicted in these emails you listed probably IS breaking the law and IS illegally in this country. Granting these people clemency because you don't approve of Joe's methods is not the way to go here. To say its not a problem is burying your head in the sand.

  11. JAB:

    This is certainly part of it.

    But, I also think that the lack of a credible law and order alternative has helped him in the last 2 elections (since I moved back to Maricopa County). I held my nose and voted for him after his opponent seemed to go out of his way to say he would be softer on crime (my liberal friends seemed to think this was all the better when trying to convince me to vote against Sherrif Joe).

    I lived in DC when Marion Barry won his second stint as Mayor by promising to release felons and take a lax approach to law enforcement, kept his promise and we got the predicted results. I have also lived in Detroit with its lax approach as well as NY under Guiliani. The contrast was striking and it informs my voting to this day.

    There has to be a non-clown, law and order type somewhere who can unseat him. I think the voters are finally ready to end the circus, though he may have to resign under the weight of the various scandals and investigations.

  12. marco73:

    I have to disagree with some of the comments that the "Mexicans" in question above are probably in the US illegally.
    Arizona has only been a territory of the United States since 1848, and became a state in 1912. Before then, it was part of Vieja California, a state of Mexico. There is a significant population in Arizona who are descended from the Mexican population of the area.
    And, wow, a lot of those folks are "brown" and speak Spanish. And they are American citizens.
    I do not believe that we should ignore the illegal aliens in this country; those identified as here illegally should be send back home.
    It's Joe's methods that are objectionable. The sheriff grabs entire businesses of "brown" people and makes them prove they are in this country legally.
    Would any of his constituants like Joe to arrest an entire business of white people and check their papers to make sure they aren't Canadians here illegally?

  13. Che is dead:

    The attacks on Sheriff Arpaio go back a long way, and they have always proven to be nothing more than political witch-hunts. But then Coyote doesn't mind a good witch hunt, and the entailing abuse of government power, as long as that power is being abused in the pursuit of his personal witches. Here is just a small taste of what constitutes "fair play" in the fevered minds of the "libertarian" left:

    ... the Washington Times points out that Arpaio is being sued by the Civil Rights Division’s allies in the ACLU (the number-two lawyer at the division is a former ACLU lawyer) for setting up an anonymous telephone tip line for immigration violations, purportedly because it will generate “false, inaccurate and racially motivated reports.” Interestingly, the division has set up its own anonymous tip line to solicit complaints from illegal immigrants about Arpaio. It’s a good thing that this tip line will not generate any “false, inaccurate and racially motivated” calls.

    This is a real sign of the desperation by the Civil Rights Division. They have been harassing Arpaio for the past year and even generated a DHS audit of him (despite having had no complaints that he was not complying with the rules of the 287(g) program), trying to scrape up enough evidence to justify a civil-rights lawsuit against him. That effort appears to have come up short — necessitating an anonymous tip line nine months after the witch-hunt was initiated. As the Washington Times correctly points out, it seems pretty clear that this is intended to “find a crime to pin” on Arpaio.


  14. Che is dead:

    Alas, it looks like Eric Holder and his crew have finally taken down Sheriff Joe, leading the self-proclaimed champions of the "brown people" to openly celebrate their cheaply acquired sense of moral superiority over their fellow Americans. There is just one problem:

    When the Department first informed Arpaio that a probe was under way, back in March 2009, it sent a letter saying the investigation would focus on "alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures." But now we learn that just six months before that, in September 2008, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, did its own investigation of Arpaio's office -- and gave it a clean bill of health. Arpaio's lawyers recently got a copy of the ICE report through the Freedom of Information Act.

    ICE officials evaluated how the sheriff's office performed under a law that allows specially trained local law enforcement officers to enforce parts of federal immigration law. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which is the largest sheriff's office in the Arizona, has 189 officers who have been trained by ICE to enforce federal immigration statutes.

    The report, crammed with acronyms and bureaucratese, is not light reading. But struggle through it, and the key sentence is this: "The OI and DRO supervisors consider the conduct and performance of the MCSO ... officers to be professional and meeting the requirement of the MOA." Translated, that means officials from the Homeland Security Department's Office of Investigation (OI), along with officials from the Detention and Removal Operations office (DRO), concluded that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), in its handling of illegal immigrants, acted in a professional manner and complied with a memorandum of agreement (MOA) under which the government gave them the authority to enforce federal law. That agreement included a ban on racial profiling. ICE investigators also interviewed top federal officials involved in illegal immigrant cases in Arizona. They found an "excellent" working relationship between the sheriff's office and the feds. ICE talked as well to federal prosecutors in Phoenix, who described the cases brought by Maricopa County as "high quality."



  15. Che is dead:

    And just how did this witch-hunt get started? Well, the answer will not surprise many of us:

    ... the Justice Department may have a lot more to answer for than Arpaio.

    In February, Democratic Reps. John Conyers, Zoe Lofgren, Jerrold Nadler, and Bobby Scott demanded that the Department of Justice investigate Sheriff Arpaio for “discriminatory” police practices toward illegal aliens, despite having no evidence of such behavior. (Two House Judiciary subcommittees have already held hearings on Arpaio’s conduct and found no actual proof of wrongdoing) The Civil Rights Division launched an investigation within a month.

    SPL has a long history of harassing law-enforcement agencies. Part of the reason for this abuse is that the federal law governing SPL’s jurisdiction — 42 U.S.C. § 14141 — is so nebulous. Congress adopted this statute in 1994 in the wake of the Rodney King case. It allows the Justice Department to investigate law-enforcement agencies that have engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional or unlawful conduct.

    But the statute doesn’t define “pattern or practice” or the time period over which such a “pattern or practice” must occur. As a result, SPL has almost no standards (and no limits) under which it conducts its investigations. Enforcement is typically left to the vagaries of the biased liberal career attorneys who populate the Section, few (if any) of whom appreciate the extraordinary demands under which local law-enforcement officials toil.


  16. Che is dead:

    Coyote wants us all to believe that the reason for Sheriff Joes popularity with his constituents is his willingness to go after all those "brown people". You know the drill: "Citizens saw day laborers. They saw people with brown skin. They heard Spanish spoken." But is that really the case? Let's compare Sheriff Joes results to those of another AZ sheriff just to make sure. Let's look at the record of Sheriff Dupnik, another self-proclaimed champion of the "brown people". He certainly cannot be accused of racial profiling. He is, according to the New York Times, a "valiant warrior fighting against ... the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country." Coyotes kind of guy:

    The New York Times editorial board has cast the sheriff [Dupnik] as a valiant warrior fighting against an epidemic of violence that makes his beloved Pima County the epicenter of "the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country."... Amy Goodman, from her headquarters in the trendy Chelsea section of Manahttan, contrasts the quality of law enforcement offered by the "humanity" of Democrat Dupnik with the head of law enforcement of neighboring Maricopa County, where the "notorious" Sherif Joe Arpaio "jails people" -- even, much to the dismay of Attorney Geaneral Eric Holder, illegal immigrants -- under "harsh conditions."

    But a trip to the Uniform Crime Reports database of the FBI tells a different story. Forget the boosterish statistics reported by Dupnik on his taxpayer-financed website. Forget the media applause. They bear as much relation to reality -- crime on the ground -- as the deliberately altered statistics offered by climate researchers to prove global warming. Although the county has had reporting problems (the Sheriff is a remarkably sloppy administrator), the FBI has enough data to allow us to come to this conclusion: The citizens of Pima County are up to their necks in crime, especially when compared to neighboring Maricopa County. Thirty years of hyper-partisan Democrat-led law enforcement have resulted in the highest crime rates in Arizona. The citizen who lives in Pima County, compared to media-reviled Joe Arpaio's territory just next door, will have almost three times the chance of being murdered; is more than seven times as likely to be raped; is more than six times as likely to be assaulted; and more than seven times as likely to have experienced a property crime such as burglary, arson or car theft.


    Nice try, Coyote.

  17. Che is dead:

    "All in all these people complaining sound a lot less fun to live with than those Mexicans. Hope that at some point there will be more Mexicans than those folks and they just can turn the vote around have those xenophobs kicked around for a change." -- Max

    The US has the most liberal immigration policies of any nation in the world, taking in more legal immigrants, regardless of race or ethnicity, every year than all of other nations of the world combined. To call people who have supported such an open legal immigration policy "xenophobs" [sic], isn't just ignorant, it's bigoted and hateful as well. As for "kicking us around", just give a try, douche-bag.

  18. Hunt Johnsen:

    Arpaio may be a bigot, completely over the top, guilty of all sorts of malfeasance, however he seems to be taking the illegal immigration problem seriously, which the Federal government does not. Here in California a large percentage of people in jail are illegals, and the ones not in jail (undocumented democrats) are being given all sorts of benefits both educational, legal and financial. If I drive without a license or insurance my car can be seized, but lately not so much if I'm an illegal.
    I don't have an answer, but enforcing immigration laws already on the books seems like a good start and that's probably why Arpaio keeps getting elected. Victor Davis Hanson has lately written about the lawlessness in the Central Valley that is resulting from non-enforcement, not just of immigration laws, but health, building codes, theft etc. because enforcing the laws would be "racist".

  19. IrritatinglyAnnoyed:

    Legal immigration is so expensive and bureaucratic that the only alternative for the desperate people is to, you know, break the law. So all this talk about legal immigration as being the only way really comes down to the fact that the country is not the land of opportunity not for its own citizens nor for anybody who comes to seek such. Everyone is slave to its endless expensive rules and regulations that do one thing, make everything a crime that isn't approved of. Everyone who is native born is damn lucky they are here but they forgot what freedom really is when everything for their "security" is now being given to them.

  20. Benjamin Cole:

    The GOP is tying itself into knots. Abortion, homophobia, anti-immigrationism, anti-environmentalism, gold worship, creationists, pro-rural subsidies, pro-military waste---this is a party? More like Grifters on Parade, the GOP.

    What does any of the above have to do with freedom and private enterprise?

    Pollution is a failure in the free enterprise system. The price signal does not work when it comes to pollution. It is a legitimate effort of government (though I would prefer pollution taxes, like Milton Friedman).

    Occupying Afghanistan for decades and creating a deeply corrupt Islamic state where they execute Christians, and put women into tents, but grow 90 percent of the globe's opium---this is the new GOP? The GOP foreign policy is mindboggling.

    And now complaining about guys in AZ not seeking welfare but ardently trying to get a job (day laborers)?

    Obama will probably win. The modern-day GOP is in pathetic shape, and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I won't for this gaggle of poltroons.

    I wish I had another party to vote for.

  21. astonerii:

    Sounds like good work. What is his job if it is not to respond to citizens law enforcement needs? If someone was littering your yard on a weekly basis I am sure you would want someone to stop it. Well, if people are in this country illegally, making nusances of themselves, and people contact the police, what should they do? Say, sorry, but it would look bad if we did anything, think of their feelings!?!

  22. skh.pcola:

    @pseudo-Benji: Your litany of retarded talking points grows old. I've been reading the same crap from your atrophied brain stem for years around the Internet. Do you have all of these brain farts scribed to a .txt document and just paste them randomly? You never get tired of saying the same, Luap Nor-type of crap hour after hour, day after day, week after week, etc. Your lament about the GOP is laughable...you aren't even a conservative. LOL

  23. Not Sure:

    "Pollution is a failure in the free enterprise system."

    To the extent that pollution is a problem, it's due to the lack of protection of property rights. The government fails to protect those rights (one of the reasons to even have a government in the first place, I'd think) and that's a free enterprise failure?



    i lived in la and riverside for 30 years and each year the number of illegals grew standing on street corners, drinking beer, using people's front yards for toilets, making lewd remarks to women, even pawing them.

    the current mayor of la has ordered the lapd not to do anything about this, it might violate illegal alien's rights to behave like idiots and dirtbags...

    the theft and burglary rates increased substantially in these areas as well.

    we could use a lot more men like sheriff joe...

    ps: why don't you hire some for your company and watch the complaints about theft and vandalism at your campgrounds go thru the roof?

  25. bob sykes:

    "For those of you not in Arizona that wonder from all the articles about him why Sheriff Joe is still elected by almost landslide majorities":

    You need to read your own stuff. You need to actually read that phrase. The key words are "landside majorities." Think about what it means.

  26. Dan from Gilbert:

    Arpaio is our fence against AZ becoming what CA has become, with unchecked and liberal policies on illegal immigration enforcement.

    I love that you reported the contents of a few letters and so we must assume that Arpaio ginned up his band of racists goons ONLY as a response to these specific kinds of letters. Those letters could have come in, but I'm pretty sure they had nothing to do with specific law enforcement actions. And how DARE you insinuate that his supporters are a bunch of knuckle dragging racists because that's what your post looks like. I'm an American who loves America and I don't want my country being turned into Mexico. Have you visited that country? Do you want that culture to become dominant in America? If so, take a look at southern CA. If anything, I'm a culturalist, not a racist. Doesn't matter what color you are. I have friends of all colors of life. But they all share in my same culture. Culture, not color.

    I moved to AZ for several reasons and Sheriff Arpaio was one of those reasons. Thank GOD we have him.


    well Warren, your rants against sheriff joe arresting illegal mexicans are not getting a lot of traction amongst your readership, in fact just the opposite...

    travel to austin, tx which has declared itself a 'sanctuary city' where illegals can do whatever they want with almost no legal repercussion.

    the illegal mexican who had multiple dui arrests, after killing and injuring several people in separate incidents but the austin pd was forbidden from referring him to ice authorities for deportation by order of the left-wing city council.

    perhaps you can bid on running some campgrounds in mexico itself, just to see the level of corruption and misbehavior firsthand?

  28. Jamessir Bensonmum:

    I have mixed feelings about Mr. Arpaio. For years I've hated his tent city jail. It's a disgrace. But I'm changing my mind. Because that tent city jail full of petty criminals reflects not so much on Mr. Arpaio but instead on the people & circumstances he, his deputies, and the law-abiding citizens deal with.

    You try living in a big city where so many people choose to break the law. Petty crimes like trespassing, peeing on the back or side of a building or parking lot, breaking into cars, etc. - these are still crimes. There are too many illegals in Arizona and they're not looking over their shoulders. They've been here in the US illegally but comfortably for years. I hope some of them are starting to worry about being arrested.

  29. Jerry:

    Wait a minute, I know, I know, pick me, pick me. Because most people are morons!