The Phoenix New Times have been covering the heinous acts of Sheriff Joe Arpaio for two decades. Their coverage angered Joe Arpaio so much he even orchestrated the arrest of two reporters, an act that later cost Arizona taxpayers millions and was deemed unconstitutional by a judge. After news broke that Donald Trump had pardoned his vile, racist political ally, the Phoenix New Times unloaded a dizzying list of just some of the documented heinous acts of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies.
Buckle up, this is a jaw-dropping list.
Inmate Damon Dreckmeier was serving 111 days in Sheriff Joe’s jail and nearly died due to lack of medical attention. His cellmates spent hours watching him nearly bleed to death. In fact, Dreckmeier was refused his badly needed prescription medicine throughout his sentence, an act that resulted in numerous surgeries and amounted to torture.
"They had done radical exploratory surgery on me. And I was asking the doctors, 'Why?' Just the week before, they had tested me extensively, and they knew what was wrong with me. I had active Crohn's because I wasn't getting my medication. But they cut me up like they didn't know what was wrong with me.
"What happened to me? Why did you cut me so far?" Dreckmeier says he asked surgeons who came to check on his condition. "You're in jail, we don't have to discuss it with you," one of the doctors told him, Dreckmeier says.
Ambrett Spencer was in Maricopa County Jail, serving a sentence for drunk driving. Months before she began serving her jail sentence, she went through a treatment program and found out she was pregnant. She woke up in the middle of the night in severe pain and was not taken to the hospital for hours:
By the time the ambulance arrived at the Maricopa County Hospital, Spencer had been in severe pain and without a doctor for almost four hours. Doctors delivered Ambria Renee Spencer, a 9-pound baby girl with a quarter-inch of thick hair on her head.
Ambria was dead. Spencer's pain had been caused by internal bleeding — a malady known as placental abruption. Babies often survive the condition, if their mothers go immediately to a hospital. The treatment is simple: immediate delivery. Otherwise, the baby dies from blood loss.
Some inmates at Maricopa County Jail actually baked to death:
On the night of August 21, 1997, Lance Hawthorne baked in a cell so hot, his freshly expired corpse was measured at 109 degrees. An investigator wrote that the cramped cell received virtually no air circulation.
Days before Hawthorne's death, what little circulation the cell did get had been cut off by a detention officer because Hawthorne's cellmate had said something the officer didn't like, according to the sheriff's investigation.
In 2004, he orchestrated the arrest of two reporters who had been digging into his financial records to ascertain where his wealth came from:
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors this afternoon voted unanimously to approve a $3.75 million settlement for New Times' co-founders, whose false arrests in 2007 were orchestrated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and jailed on misdemeanor charges alleging that they violated the secrecy of a grand jury -- which turned out never to have been convened.
Think about that, he arranged for his deputies to arrest two reporters in the middle of the night on trumped up misdemeanor charges. The unconstitutional arrest cost Arizona taxpayers $3.75 million. And still he kept his job.
In fact, the racial-profiling case that led to Sheriff Joe’s conviction on federal contempt of court charges, has cost Arizona taxpayers $70 million:
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio may soon be pardoned for a criminal-contempt conviction stemming from a long-running racial-profiling case, but county taxpayers are still on the hook, now to the tune of nearly $70 million.
About $24 million has been funneled to case-related expenses this year alone, adding to the $46 million incurred since 2008. Costs will continue to mount for the foreseeable future.
Rape cases in Maricopa County, many involving children, were not investigated or were low priority:
And yet, he still had the time and finances to push a racist conspiracy theory about President Obama:
How did he defend himself against these charges? By going after the judge and his wife:
As the case went on, he tried to destroy critical evidence:
And yet, he persisted with his racial-profiling:
He faux deputized a bunch of old farts, many of whom had criminal records, one was arrested on charges of possessing hundreds of child pornography images:
His deputies were accused of being extremely unprofessional and overzealous in a raid that set a house on fire, threatening the neighborhood of packed houses and killed a 10 month old puppy. Witnesses said deputies were laughing about the charred puppy remains.
The Phoenix New Times remains a great example of why local newspapers are so critical. They have done a stellar job of covering the misdeeds of Joe Arpaio.