Sherriff Joe doesn't sound like the name of a bad man. It sounds like it could be the name of an affable lawman on a television show, or perhaps the grizzled Yankee lawman protagonist in a Stephen King novel. But he is no hero.
The sins of Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sherriff's department are myriad, including gross civil rights violations, abuse of power, misuse of funds, election law violations, et. al. His disdain for Hispanics is the stuff of Conservative wet dreams are made of.
Surely this man will protect the children? Surely?
In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.
Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.
The botched sex-crimes investigations have served as an embarrassment to a department whose sheriff is the self-described "America's Toughest Sheriff" and a national hero to conservatives on the immigration issue.
32 reported cases
Victims as young as 2
Suspects were known in all but six cases
Many of the victims were illegal immigrants
America's Toughest Sherriff?
I would like to think that America's toughest Sheriff would have made more of an effort to investigate these crimes.
And then the kicker.
Bill Louis, then-assistant El Mirage police chief who reviewed the files after the sheriff's contract ended, believes the decision to ignore the cases was made deliberately by supervisors in Arpaio's office — and not by individual investigators.
"I know the investigators. I just cannot believe they would wholesale discount these cases. No way," Louis said. "The direction had to come (from) up the food chain."
Louis said he believes whoever made the decision knew that illegal immigrants — who are often transient and fear the police — were unlikely to complain about the quality of investigations. He said some cases also involved families here legally.
America's Toughest Sherriff
Favorite of Republicans everywhere
A miserable failure where it counts the most, the most vulnerable in our society were left to fend for themselves against their abusers while Sherriff Joe preened for his Republican followers.
Read the entire article and tell me how he survives this.
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