America’s worst cop gets show…on Fox, of course
“Smile, You’re Under Arrest” – that’s the name of a new reality TV show starring none other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Yet Maricopa County citizens aren’t smiling as Arpaio’s tactics have wreaked a lot of havoc, and fought little crime.
Arpaio has transformed his police department into an immigration-enforcement agency, gaining international notoriety in the process. Armed with a 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and a mandate to enforce immigration law, Arpaio has taken the pursuit of undocumented immigrants to “unconstitutional extremes
While MCSO has diverted resources to immigration enforcement, response times to 911 calls have increased, arrest rates have dropped, and thousands of felony warrants have not been served. Despite the time and energy spent on immigration enforcement, the Tribune found that MCSO has had little success building cases against violent immigrant offenders or those at the top of the smuggling rings. In 2006-2007, sheriff deputies arrested 578 illegal immigrants in the course of traffic stops, and of those, 498 faced a single charge of conspiracy to smuggle themselves.
Last week, the conservative Goldwater Institute has published a report documenting how the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Arpaio, has failed to serve and protect his community. Building on the East Valley Tribune investigation, the Goldwater Institute found that, though the MCSO budget has increased at four times the rate of the county’s population, violent crimes increased nearly 70%, and homicides increased 166% between 2004 and 2007 (excluding 2005 because MCSO did not provide data).</em>
Why does Fox News exist and prosper? Because a significant chunk of our nation enjoys watching minorities- be they brown, red or a lovely shade of pink, get the shit kicked out of them. Elect all the smooth talking Obamas you want, we still have about another 20-30 years of overt racism, homophobia and utter, knuckle-dragging ugliness to live through before people like Arpaio and the rest of his Fox brethren are shunted to the sidelines of our culture. Hope we can make it.