The U.S. Department of Justice filed its lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the sheriff’s department and Maricopa County on Thursday, May 10, in Los Angeles.
It was only the second time in its 18 years of civil police reform work that it has had to file a contested lawsuit. Assistant Attorney for Civil Rights Tom Perez said that “all the allegations in the complaint result from a culture of disregard for basic human rights within the agency that starts at the top.” He went on to say that “at its core, this is an abuse of power case, involving a sheriff and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices, compromised public safety and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics.”
Arapio’s response to the lawsuit was to make himself out to be an innocent victim of the Obama re-election campaign, which is absurd. It goes along with his narcissism. Oh boo hoo Arapio. You’ve pounded yourself on the chest over the years more times than Barnum and Bailey ever promoted their “Greatest Show on Earth.”
Speaking of shows, you have created one, but it’s not funny or entertaining any longer. You have cost the taxpayers of this county incredible sums of money for you and your staff’s malfeasance and ineptitude. You have consistently trampled on the civil rights of people of all races, color and creed. You have either attempted to or have succeeded in ruining the lives and careers of many upstanding and innocent members of our community who have taken issue with you or your policies.
Live by the sword, die by the sword. It’s now time for you to stand up and take your medicine like a man. After the lawsuit was filed, you boasted to the media that you would never go out without a fight. What are you going to do if you lose in court? Barricade yourself in your office and start shooting?
Frankly, we should not be all that happy with this CIVIL lawsuit. The Department of Justice should have filed CRIMINAL charges. They have the evidence. People have died. People have been hurt badly. This watered-down, weak-kneed civil lawsuit that demands that Arpaio allow the feds to monitor the activities of the sheriff and his employees is almost laughable. Can’t imagine that scenario having any legs. Arpaio should go to jail. How about pink underwear and Tent City?
It’s a dry heat.
Jon Beydler is a 34-year Valley resident and the former Mayor of Fountain Hills who lives in south Chandler.