reply to post by AngryCymraeg
Spoken like a true Obama kool-aid drinker... Arpaio has something the idiots in DC haven't figured out yet. Common sense.
Whaa? Man I just don't what to make of that statement? This man has killed people be not proving water in his tent jails. This guy wipes his ass with
the constitution! Just because he does not like Obama does not make him a good choice here!
In June 2008, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. In March 2009, the
United States Department of Justice notified Arpaio that they were investigating the department for civil rights violations, in unfairly targeting
Hispanics and Spanish-speaking people. The DOJ found "reasonable cause to believe that MCSO engages in a pattern or practice of violating the
Constitution and laws of the United States" and that "MCSO is broken".
In October 2009, it was reported that the FBI was investigating Arpaio for using his position to settle political vendettas.[dead link]
In January 2010, it was reported that the Department of Justice has impaneled a grand jury to investigate allegations of abuse of power by
In March 2010, it was reported that an investigation into Arpaio is "serious and ongoing", according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.[dead
A federal judge ruled, in October 2008, that conditions in Maricopa County jails violate the constitutional rights of inmates. In April, 2010, the
same judge ruled that conditions in the Maricopa County jails continue to violate the constitutional rights of inmates.
Contempt citation of detention officer
The Maricopa County Court House
In October 2009, a courtroom video was posted on YouTube, showing an MCSO Detention Officer removing documents from a defense attorney's files.
Deputy  Adam Stoddard was subsequently found in contempt-of-court for violating attorney–client privilege, and ordered to hold a press
conference, to publicly apologize for his actions. On the deadline set by the court, Deputy Stoddard, under orders from Sheriff Joe
Arpaio, declined to apologize and was jailed. Arpaio argued that only he could order his deputies actions and the court had no authority to
enforce any action against a deputy, a position that the Appeals Court rejected in Stoddard's appeal. The Appeals Court did order that Judge Donahoe's
order to make an apology be stricken and replaced with a fine. The next day, 20 MCSO detention officers failed to report for work at the
downtown Phoenix Superior Court, and a bomb threat was called in, causing the building to be evacuated. The same afternoon, more than 150 deputies and
detention officers gathered outside the courthouse and reiterated their support for the jailed detention officer. The MCSO appealed the contempt
order, and pending the outcome of the appeal, the deputy was released from jail. Ultimately, the contempt-of-court ruling was upheld, however the
court of appeals threw out the penalty (that the officer apologize), and sent the case back to superior court for the imposition of a fine.
Controversial use of SWAT forces
On July 23, 2004, a SWAT team served a search warrant looking for "a stockpile of illegal automatic weapons and armor-piercing pistol ammunition" that
they believed was hidden at an upscale home. In the course of serving the warrant, multiple tear gas cartridges were launched into the home, the
result of which was the home catching fire. During the fire, SWAT forced the homeowner's 10-month-old pit bull puppy back into the home with a fire
extinguisher, resulting in the dog's death. It was reported that the officers laughed over the incident. The armored personnel carrier used during the
assault also ran over and damaged a neighbor's vehicle when its brakes failed. Police recovered two weapons: one antique shotgun; and one 9mm pistol.
Both weapons are legal to own in Arizona. After failing to find illicit weapons the police served an arrest warrant for the owner who was also wanted
on a misdemeanor warrant for failing to appear in Tempe Municipal Court on several traffic citations.
In 2008, when Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called for a federal investigation into Arpaio's immigration enforcement tactics, Arpaio's office responded by
demanding the mayor's emails and phone logs. Arpaio also had his critic Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley, a Republican, arrested on suspicion of
failing to properly disclose business interests.
Webcasts of pretrial detainees
Starting in July 2000, the Maricopa County Sheriff's website hosted Jail Cam, a 24-hour Internet webcast of images from cameras in the Madison Street
Jail, a facility which processed and housed only pretrial detainees. The stated goals of the broadcasts were the deterrence of future crime and
improved public scrutiny of jail procedures. The cameras showed arrestees being brought in handcuffed, fingerprinted, booked, and taken to holding
cells; with the site receiving millions of hits per day. Twenty-four former detainees brought suit against the Sheriff's office, arguing that
their Fourteenth Amendment rights of due process had been violated.
U.S. District Court Judge Earl H. Carroll held in favor of the former detainees, issuing an injunction ending the webcasts. By a 2 to 1 vote, a
three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, with the majority opinion stating:
... Second, Sheriff Arpaio argues that the cameras are justified by the County’s interest in having its pretrial detention centers open to public
scrutiny. We have given prison officials wide latitude in administering pretrial detention facilities, in guaranteeing detainees’ attendance at
trial, and in promoting prison safety. But we fail to see how turning pretrial detainees into the unwilling objects of the latest reality show serves
any of these legitimate goals. As the Supreme Court has recognized, "nmates . . . are not like animals in a zoo to be filmed and photographed at
will by the public or by media reporters, however ‘educational’ the process may be for others.[dead link]
In his dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Carlos Bea wrote:
... What the majority avoids—perhaps because of the all-too-predictable result—is to ask the question basic to any review questioning the validity
of governmental action under a rational basis analysis: were the webcasts reasonably related to the purpose of deterring public behavior that could
result in pretrial detention? The answer clearly is Yes. ... Similarly unexamined is the Sheriff’s purpose of providing transparency of jail
operations as a civic good.Sheriff Arpaio’s methods to achieve his purposes of public deterrence and governmental transparency may not suit the fine
sensibilities of some group advocates and jurists. But absent a violation of the constitutional rights of Plaintiffs—and I see none—such
differences of opinion must be vindicated, if at all, in the ballot box, not in the courtroom.
The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the case. Ultimately, Maricopa County was required to pay the detainees' legal costs and
Inmate complaints and lawsuits
From 2004 through November 2007, Arpaio was the target of 2,150 lawsuits in U.S. District Court and hundreds more in Maricopa County courts, with more
than $50 million in claims being filed, 50 times as many prison-conditions lawsuits as the New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston jail
systems combined. Allegations of cruel treatment of inmates as well as living conditions have been cited by Amnesty International in a report
issued on the treatment of inmates in Maricopa County facilities.
In 1998, Arpaio commissioned a study, by Arizona State University criminal justice professor Marie L. Griffin, to examine recidivism rates based on
conditions of confinement. Comparing recidivism rates under Arpaio to those under his predecessor, the study found "there was no significant
difference in recidivism observed between those offenders released in 1989–1990 and those released in 1994–1995."
Inmate deaths and injuries
Family members of inmates who have died or been injured in jail custody have filed lawsuits against the sheriff’s office. Maricopa County has paid
more than $43 million in settlement claims during Arpaio's tenure.
In August 2001, Charles Agster, a 33-year-old mentally handicapped man, died in the county jail three days after being forced by sheriff's officers
into a restraint chair used for controlling combative arrestees. Agster's parents had been taking him to a psychiatric hospital because he was
exhibiting paranoia, then called police when he refused to leave a convenience store where they had stopped en route. Officers took Agster to the
Madison Street jail, placed a "spit hood" over his face and strapped him to the chair, where he had an apparent seizure and lost consciousness. He was
declared brain dead three days later. A medical examiner later concluded that Agster died of complications of methamphetamine intoxication. In a
subsequent lawsuit, an attorney for the sheriff's office described the amount of methamphetamine in Agster's system as 17 times the known lethal dose.
The lawsuit resulted in a $9 million jury verdict against the county, the sheriff's office, and Correctional Health Services.
One major controversy includes the 1996 death of inmate Scott Norberg, a former Brigham Young University football wide receiver, who died while in
custody of the Sheriff's office. Norberg was arrested for assaulting a police officer in Mesa, Arizona, after neighbors in a residential area had
reported a delirious man walking in their neighborhood. Arpaio's office repeatedly claimed Norberg was also high on methamphetamine, but a blood
toxicology performed post-mortem was inconclusive. According to a toxological report, Norberg did have methamphetamine in his urine, though "there
would be no direct effect caused by the methamphetamine on Norberg's behavior at the time of the incident". During his internment, evidence
suggests detention officers shocked Norberg several times with a stun-gun. According to an investigation by Amnesty International, Norberg was already
handcuffed and face down when officers dragged him from his cell and placed him in a restraint chair with a towel covering his face. After Norberg's
corpse was discovered, detention officers accused Norberg of attacking them as they were trying to restrain him. The cause of his death, according to
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner, was due to "positional asphyxia". Sheriff Arpaio investigated and subsequently cleared detention officers of any
criminal wrongdoing.[dead link]
Norberg’s parents filed a lawsuit against Arpaio and his office. The lawsuit was settled for $8.25 million (USD).
Richard Post was a paraplegic inmate arrested in 1996 for possession of marijuana and criminal trespass. Post was placed in a restraint chair by
guards and his neck was broken in the process. The event, caught on video, shows guards smiling and laughing while Post is being injured.[citation
needed] Because of his injuries, Post has lost much of the use of his arms. Post settled his claims against the Sheriff's office for
Brian Crenshaw was a legally blind and mentally disabled inmate who suffered fatal injuries while being held in Maricopa County Jail for shoplifting.
The injuries that led to his death were initially blamed on a fall from his bunk but were later discovered to have been the result of a brutal beating
by jail guards on March 7, 2003. A lawsuit filed in The Maricopa County Superior Court of Arizona by the lawyer for Crenshaw's family stated:
An external examination report of The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Brian's death was caused by "complications of blunt
force trauma due to a fall." This conclusion was reached largely on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's relation of their "history" of Brian's
injuries to the Medical Examiner's Office; a history that included the MCSO's implausible story that all of Brian's injuries were caused by a fall
from his cell bed. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner conducted no autopsy; nor was the Maricopa County Medical Examiner informed by MCSO or The
Maricopa County Correctional Health Services about Brian's beating on March 7, 2003 and/or related events. An independent autopsy report later
narrowed the cause of Brian's death to peritonitis and sepsis secondary to the duodenal perforation. A fall from Brian's 4-foot, 2 inch bunk could not
have simultaneously caused a broken neck, broken toes, and a duodenal perforation.
The lawsuit against Arpaio and his office resulted in an award of $2 million.[dead link] As in the Scott Norberg case, it was alleged that
Arpaio's office destroyed evidence in the case. In the Crenshaw case, the attorney who represented the case before a jury alleged digital video
evidence was destroyed.
Conflicts with local news media
In July 2004, The Phoenix New Times published Arpaio's home address in the context of a story about his real estate dealings. In October, 2007, a
Maricopa County special prosecutor served Village Voice Media, the Phoenix New Times' corporate parent, with a subpoena ordering it to produce "all
documents" related to the original real estate article, as well as the IP addresses of all visitors to the Phoenix New Times website since January 1,
2004. The Phoenix New Times then published the contents of the subpoena on October 18. Phoenix New Times editors Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were
arrested and jailed by Maricopa Sheriff's Deputies on misdemeanor charges of revealing grand jury secrets after the publication of the subpoena.
On the following day, the county attorney dropped the case and fired the special prosecutor.
On November 28, 2007, it was ruled that the subpoenas were not validly issued and in April 2008, the New Times editors filed suit against Arpaio,
County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Special Prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik.
In 2009, The East Valley Tribune ran a series of articles that criticized the Maricopa County sheriff for a decline in normal police protection due to
an increased focus towards arresting illegal immigrants. The five-part series titled “Reasonable Doubt,” which received a Pulitzer Prize for
local reporting, described "slow emergency response times and lax criminal enforcement."
On December 23, 2009, The Arizona Republic published an editorial titled “The Conspiracy that won’t stop.” The Editorial Board referenced a
published letter written by the Yavapai County Attorney, Sheila Polk, titled “Arpaio, Thomas are abusing power” ” in which Polk was critical
of Arpaio. The Editorial Board claimed that “As a result of stepping forward, Polk now may join the fast-growing list of Arizona public officials
forced to defend themselves against criminal investigations for the "crime" of having upset Arpaio and Thomas.”
Arpaio's practices have been criticized by organizations such as Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Arizona Ecumenical
Council, the American Jewish Committee, and the Arizona chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. The editorial board of The New York Times
called Arpaio "America's Worst Sheriff".
edit on 23-1-2014 by Donkey_Dean because: (no reason given)