Finally, the racist Trump supporter, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been formally charged to court following an order submitted by prosecutors on 17th October. The charge which was for contempt of court was signed by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.
Joe Arpaio is in the deep waters after he and some people working for him refused to stop the racial profiling of Latinos. On Friday, August 19th, Federal Judge G. Murray Snow had made a request to the U.S. Attorney’s office to have the Maricopa County Sheriff charged alongside some members of his department for the said crime.
Arpaio’s case of profiling goes back to 2013 when Murray Snow ruled against the Sheriff in a case of singling out Latinos during immigration patrol. The ruling went in tune with so many allegations that have been raised against the sheriff in the past, of infringing on the constitutional rights of Latinos in the county. In the 2013 ruling, Snow had it against Arpaio’s deputies for unreasonably prolonging the detention of people who were pulled over. The ruling came as a result of a lawsuit which sought to have the sheriff and his office change its policy of operation, which included arresting immigrants and delivering them to federal authorities even when there were no charges against them.
Joe Arpaio is expected to appear in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix on December 6th when his trial would begin. If found guilty the tough Sheriff could get a maximum of 8 months in jail, following his age. This would as well mark the end of his political life. The Sheriff and his supporters, however, question the timing of the charge insisting it is all politically motivated, to ensure the Sheriff who is seeking reelection, does not make it back to office.
Joe Arpaio Controversies
The 84 years old Sheriff who has served as Sheriff since 1993, has quite a long history of battles in and out of court, making him popular when it comes to controversies. While he may finally go down for racial profiling, it is just one among his long list of misdoings. This makes one wonder how come he has survived as a Sheriff for so long.
One big case brought against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MSCO) was by Sabrina Morrison for ignoring her rape claim. Sabrina who was a mentally disabled 13 years old, had reported to her teacher in 2007, how she was raped by her uncle a day earlier. Her teacher reported the case to MSCO. The case was treated by the Sheriff’s office without any seriousness, even claiming there was no obvious case of rape. This made Sabrina’s uncle continue raping her until she got pregnant and had to have an abortion.
In 2012 Sabrina sued the sheriff and his office, demanding $30 million for damages. In 2008, another lawsuit brought against the Sheriff’s office cost the county $1.1 million. The suit was brought in 2004 by James Saville, a man whom Joe Arpaio framed in 1999 for attempting to kill him. As a result of the frame up, Saville spent 4 years in county jail before being acquitted by jurors who believed he was used as a pawn in a publicity stunt by the Sheriff.
In 2009, Joe was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona for illegal arrest and detention of a US citizen, Julio Maro, and his father, Julian Maro who was a legal resident in the country for 30 years. Both men accused the Sheriff’s department of treating them like criminals. Other cases brought Arpaio got involved in included of abuse of power, mismanagement of funds, and running a jail under unconstitutional conditions, among others. Attempts have been made to recall him in 2007 and 2013, however, both attempts failed.
How Taxpayers are Victims Too
At the end of the day, while those who have been wrongfully targeted by Joe Arpaio and his men have been the victims, Taxpayers too, are victims. This comes to mind when the amount of taxpayers’ money sunk to settle the unending legal battles of the Sheriff and his office is brought to the fore. Over a hundred and forty million dollars has been incurred by the Sheriff since 1999, in settling needless legal battles. This averages six million dollars for each of his years in office.