For those not familiar with Arizona politics, one of the most infamous figures here is the sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. He has made himself famous nationally in his two-decade tenure by declaring himself to be "America's Toughest Sheriff." Locally, he is known for his tendency to cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County millions upon millions of dollars spent defending lawsuits against him and his office for harassment, racial profiling, and prisoner abuse, among other things. Most recently, he has been sued by the federal government related to his office's blatant racial profiling.
I want to make it clear that I do not believe that there is anything funny about what Arpaio does, what his thugs do, his Tent City jail-cum-concentration camp, or the abuse suffered by countless detainees in his custody.
But Arpaio himself? He's ridiculous; yet, he's also oddly inspirational. That is, if one is prone to attempting satire :-)
SHERIFF JOE COUNTERSUES FEDS
PHOENIX, AZ: In a stunning reversal this morning, legendary kook Sheriff Joseph M. Apraio has announced that he is countersuing the United States Department of Justice.
His suit alleges that, among other things, the Attorney General has engaged in profiling by bringing his suit against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. "I read the memo with my own eyes. They sat down and held a meeting two years ago and decided to harass bigoted and narrow-minded yokels in positions of great power. HEL-LO! Conspiracy calling!"
Addressing one of the specific concerns raised in the Justice Department's suit against the MCSO, Sheriff Joe mentioned an allegation of racial profiling and abuse by a deputy who followed a pregnant Latina woman, an American citizen, into her driveway.
According to the suit, "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."
MCSO attorney John Masterson has been quoted as saying that he needed to know more about the situation, including whether the woman pulled a weapon or tried to fight with the officer.
The world's most famous sheriff added: "You see, she was brown. That was the first indication somethin' was up. And the deputy could see that she had managed to shove another Latino all the way up THERE, right? So, it wasn't a stretch that she could have been packing."
We will keep you updated as events unfold.