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Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his career-long attack on the US constitution

Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaioblogs.pheonixnewtimes.com

Notorious child torturer and domestic terrorist Joe Arpaio has never made a secret of his contempt for the people he's expected to serve as the sheriff of Maricopa county, Arizona. From threatening border patrol militiamen with "30 rounds fired into" them, to performing cruel and unusual punishment on teenagers not yet even convicted of a crime, Arpaio has made clear that he intends to decide the law for himself in as many ways as he can manage.

While many alleged officers of the law have exhibited lack of regard for it, many consider Arpaio especially audacious in his attempts to market himself as patriotic and pro American. His concept of America seems to be a land in which your life could be swiftly devastated at any moment based on your possession of a naturally growing plant, and you are expected to show your papers and documentation to anyone with a badge who demands it, for any reason. Refusal to comply with Arpaio's law results in threats, humiliation, and starvation. And that's just what he's been capable of thus far.

For example, Arpaio psychologically tormented thousands of young men and boys in his notorious "Tent City," which is visually nearly indistinguishable from a WWII era concentration camp. The prison camp's perimeter is lined with electrified fences, and patrolled by guards and dogs. The cruel and unusual conditions didn't satisfy Arpaio, however, as he also forced inmates to wear pink colored underwear and handcuffs, in some bizarre attempt to dress the young boys in outfits more to his liking. Arpaio has never explained what makes him enjoy seeing teenaged boys in pink underwear so much, but has stated quite unequivocally that he gladly used the publicity stunt to gain reelection.

From failure to investigate rape to expecting any Americans darker than himself to show identification papers, Arpaio is an easy candidate for a "least American American" award. However, perhaps by far his most obscene crime was his conspiracy to stage a fake assassination plot as a publicity stunt. 18 year old James Seville was set up as a "bomber," intent to kill Arpaio. The only problem was that after Saville waited 4 years in jail for trial, the Maricopa County Superior Court found that Arpaios henchmen had actually purchased and planted the bomb parts themselves. Arpaio never went to jail for this massive crime, but the citizens of Maricopa county did have to pay $1.6 million to Saville as an apology for Arpaio's actions.