Arizona Voters Deserve to Know Joe Arpaio’s True Record of Brutality and Abuse

Last year, former sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt after he defied a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling and unlawfully detaining Latino residents of Maricopa County, Arizona. Less than a month later, President Trump pardoned Arpaio, claiming that he is “loved in Arizona” and “was treated unbelievably unfairly.”

Fresh from his pardon, Arpaio decided to run for U.S. Senate following the retirement of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. He is now a candidate in the Aug. 28 Republican primary.

The ACLU does not endorse or oppose candidates for office, but we are committed to informing voters about Arpaio’s stances on issues like immigrant rights, racial justice, and criminal justice reform. This summer, we plan to mobilize activists to take steps to educate voters about Arpaio’s political positions and his record as Maricopa County sheriff.

Get the facts about Joe Arpaio’s record

Arpaio’s candidacy has major implications for Arizona and the country, as the president attempts to take his harmful policies nationwide. Trump has not only tried to whitewash Arpaio’s record, but he has also championed the disgraced ex-sheriff’s horrific tactics: attacking immigrant communities, defending racial profiling, and encouraging brutality from law enforcement.

Long before the Trump administration erected a tent city detention camp for migrant children in Texas, Arpaio had his own “Tent City,” a brutal, outdoor holding pen that he once proudly referred to as a “concentration camp.” People who encountered Arpaio’s detention system faced gruesome conditions and humiliating practices, and they were denied basic necessities and health care. For instance, female inmates reported that officers made them sleep in their own menstrual blood and assaulted pregnant women.

For years, the ACLU fought Arpaio’s discriminatory conduct, including his office’s cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees and its practice of illegally detaining people based on their perceived immigration status and discriminating against Latinos in traffic stops. The ACLU won a preliminary injunction and then a trial ruling in its class-action lawsuit to stop Arpaio’s illegal traffic stop policies. A federal judge issued a civil contempt order against Arpaio in 2016 due to his repeated flouting of court orders in the ACLU case. And in a separate criminal proceeding before a different federal judge, Arpaio was convicted in 2017 of criminal contempt as well because his contempt of court was willful and deliberate.

Naturally, Arpaio is a vocal supporter of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, including the border wall, and an opponent of legal protections for undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children. DACA recipients, he said, should be deported. Arpaio’s Republican opponents hold similar views on immigrant justice issues. Former state Sen. Kelli Ward is a longtime opponent of immigration reform and DACA, while Rep. Martha McSally recently shifted to take positions hostile to immigrant rights.

No pardon or praise from the Trump will ever wash away Arpaio’s legacy of discrimination and abuse. We fully intend to make sure that Arizona voters learn about the record and stances of the real Joe Arpaio.

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Dr. Timothy Leary

Let's be fair to Mr. Arpaio. As sheriff he has had to deal with people entering the U.S. of A. unlawfully and then committing crimes in his jurisdiction. With a last name like Arpaio he is probably of Spanish or Mexican descent himself and his actions may not be racially motivated.

Anonymous

Are you being sarcastic or sincere? Regardless...the man should have been a commandant in WWII camps; he'd fit right in. He's a disgusting example of a human being in law enforcement.

Dr. Timothy Leary

I am being sincere. The police have to deal with a lot of unsavory people, after a while it starts to rot their brains.

Anonymous

You should move here to sunny Arizona Doc! It's got many of Trump and Arpaio's clones here who luv this racist bully. Tent City is an embarrassment to anyone with compassion.

Anonymous

WOW! Are you a true practicing physician? What is your field? I know I would not choose you as any of my team of Doctors with your skewed outlook...... Because as I see your philosophy, since a lot of your patients get I'll just don't treat them humanely because they will all get sick and die anyway.....

Anonymous

Dr. Leary, Arpaio is actually an Italian (possibly Sicilian) name.

How does that fit with our exculpatory theory?

Dr. Timothy Leary

Any people that come from countries that border the north Mediterranean Sea are Latinoids. Spanish and Italian are basically the same thing.

Anonymous Xicanx

Spanish & Italian ancestry may be similar (although I suspect they’d object), but European of any flavor and Latin American is NOT the same. My last name is Spanish , not because I’m from Spain but because someone from Spain most likely raped one (or more) of my ancestors in the land that is now called Mexico. Nothing about that is the same as being a white racist of Italian origin. Regardless of this, sometimes my fellow Mexican Americans do say anti-immigrant things and it breaks my heart. They have forgotten their past, their antepasados, & their compassion - it is a truly terrible thing to witness. And this is how white supremacy undermines our very own communities. :(

Anonymous

"The ACLU does not endorse or oppose candidates for office, but we are committed to informing voters about Arpaio’s stances on issues like immigrant rights, racial justice, and criminal justice reform. This summer, we plan to mobilize activists to take steps to educate voters about Arpaio’s political positions and his record as Maricopa County sheriff."

Come on! Just say YOU the ACLU oppose him. Geez how obvious can you be. Maybe ACLU stands for what you ought to get A-Clue.

Anonymous

I oppose Arpaio's behaviors.

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