Our VoiceNews & Politics

The Circus Continues: Arpaio Raids Social Service Agency

Jill Garvey • Dec 11, 2009

Thursday afternoon Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies raided the offices of a social service agency in Phoenix. This latest act of intimidation is tied to his ongoing attacks against Maricopa County supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Wilcox has been an outspoken opponent of Sheriff Arpaio’s. On Tuesday, County Attorney Andrew Thomas brought a grand-jury indictment against Wilcox. Ironically, Andrew Thomas is Sheriff Joe’s good buddy.

Arpaio and Thomas, who are the County’s top two law enforcement officials, have been embroiled in a nasty feud with county supervisors.

Arpaio’s deputies took boxes of paperwork from the agency, Chicanos Por La Causa, which was planning an anti-Arpaio demonstration. According to the Phoenix New Times a demonstration now seems unlikely in light of the raid. Chicanos Por La Causa provides social and educational services for the local community.

But the craziness doesn’t stop there. Andrew Thomas appeared before reporters on Wednesday to discuss why he brought trumped-up criminal charges against a veteran superior court judge.  Judge Gary Donahoe is on Arpaio’s bad side for jailing one of his deputies. Shockingly, the deputy was punished by Judge Donahoe for breaking the law. Par for the Arpaio-gone-nuts course.

Arpaio’s attacks on political rivals is just the latest offense in a long line of horrible injustices, including prisoner abuse, racial profiling, terrorizing Latino residents, and cavorting with local neo-Nazi groups.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Arpaio and his deputies regarding possible civil rights violations. The USDOJ recently set up a tip line as part of its investigation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The number to call is 877-613-2137. It’s in both English and Spanish and asks those with information about the sheriff’s department to leave their names and numbers.

As Stephen Lemons so eloquently describes it, “If you’ve ever fantasized about seeing out septuagenarian sheriff in pink handcuffs doing the perp walk, or in county stir eating slop not fit for a dog, this is your chance to help make it happen.”

It’s great that the DOJ launched an investigation months ago, but now urgent action is needed. Law and order is burning in Phoenix and its sheriff is the arsonist. Arpaio and his cronies need to be held accountable for destroying the rights of Maricopa County’s residents.

It’s time to indict Arpaio.

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