Noticiero Univision Misleads Viewers with Headline of “KKK Members” Celebrating Arpaio Win

Today, the video section of Noticiero Univision posted a report with a headline that read "Members of the Klu Klux Klan Celebrate Arpaio's Victory." As we watched the video, the reporter kept saying that the members allegedly were part of the KKK and never really reported that they were actually members. Throughout the video we see a black woman expressing her outrage for what the four hooded people were doing, as well as others' anger.

However, the most important part of the story—that the hooded people were Latino and that maybe, just maybe, they were protesting Joe Arpaio's re-election as sheriff of Maricopa County—was revealed at the end. Sorry, Noticiero Univision, your title truly misled viewers. That is just poor reporting. The next time, report a headline that actually tells what the story is about? Here is the video. What do you think?

The Day I Met Sheriff Joe: A Guest Post by Roberto Lovato

We asked Roberto Lovato to record his thoughts and impressions about a meeting he and others from the Caravan for Peace had with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio last week in Phoenix. Here is what Lovato sent us this weekend.

GUEST POST by Roberto Lovato

“America's Toughest Sheriff” has the softest hands of any lawman in the West.

Observing Sheriff Joe Arpaio's hands up close, it reconfirmed a basic understanding I had about him, the lack of which has led many to give Arpaio more anger than is healthy: that he's more showman than lawman. 

CREDIT: Roberto Lovato

When his hands are not pointing to someone every other minute to reinforce some disagreement he has—or says he has—with you, they move and speak in a manner I find familiar, an animated manner that obviously speaks to his Italian immigrant roots (Arpaio told us his parents were immigrants) of the man whose name is, for many, synonymous with “immigrant hater.”

I noticed the story of Arpaio's hands during a meeting that he held last Thursday with Javier Sicilia, the poet and leader of the Caravan for Peace (Caravana) who had brought a small group of Mexican and US nationals to meet with “Sheriff Joe.” We were in Phoenix as part of a 21-city bus tour that seeks an end to the drug war that—along with the undeclared immigration war in Arizona and across the US—has defined Arpaio's larger-than-life public persona for years.

We knew we were heading into potential conflict in Arizona and we found it directly inside Arpaio's office, along with the tragicomedy of the yellowish, saggy-skinned and nail-bitten hands of the Tea Party icon. Arpaio rejected our initial request to meet with him and then changed his mind after we visited his office. He even went so far as to invite local media, who responded to his invitation within 10 minutes, as if they were on call and ready to accommodate the sheriff.

CREDIT: Roberto Lovato

“I'd like to speak to your heart,” Javier said, in an appeal to a fellow Catholic in Arpaio. “Tell me where (in the Bible) it says that you have to humiliate human beings. Where does it say you have to hate your enemy?”

“I don't like to talk about religion,” Arpaio responded, while putting is hands in front of him as if to push away an evil spirit or to cover his heart.

“You should not mix politics and religion…. It has no bearing on the illegal immigration problem or the drug problem,” Arpaio continued as he made manual buffers of his hands, which he also thumped on the table for emphasis as he looked at the cameras.

When Javier, a serious Catholic who regularly quotes Gandhi and whose bear hugs have become legendary in the Mexican media, offered his own hands to Arpaio in one of the less tense moments of a very conflict-ridden meeting, the sheriff responded by pulling his hands back and covering over one hand with the other.

CREDIT: Roberto Lovato

When Arpaio disagreed with everything from the bilingual interpretation of the meeting to US drug war policy, he mustered whatever energy there was in his 80-year-old hands to accompany his “Let-me-tell-you” talk, which has now become his stock-and-trade, both in person and on TV.

While his ham-fisted actions—denouncing, persecuting, and humiliating immigrants—are, indeed, reprehensible acts worthy of our repudiation, they are just part of the performance made obvious by Arpaio's soft, operatic hands. Remembering this branded performance of fingers, fists, and other gestures may help us better keep our anger in check. It is a performance just like any other performance we might see anywhere else. Arpaio's hands are telling us that we can still fight his vicious policies and practices, because in the end his finger puppets are just part of the tragicomedy that is “The Sheriff Joe Show.”

Roberto Lovato of Presente.org is currently traveling with the Caravan for Peace, and you can follow his updates at his Twitter page: @robvato.

Yes, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Did Indeed Spend Taxpayer Money for Obama Birther Investigation

First of all, kudos to Channel 12 in Phoenix for accessing the expense reports from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and reporting the fact that taxpayer money was used by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "Cold Case Posse" to travel to Hawaii and investigate the birth of President Barack Obama.

Here is the report filed yesterday.

Basically, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors rejected the use of private funds to offset these expenses. Here is what Arizona's top newspaper reported:

The Board of Supervisors, in a split vote Wednesday, declined to accept private funds to offset the costs, with the Sheriff's Office claiming in the aftermath of a rancorous debate that politics guided the supervisors' decision.

The two supervisors who voted against accepting the funds, Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, were both the subjects of sheriff's investigations in the past and have filed claims against the Sheriff's Office and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas alleging wrongful prosecution.

"They're letting their politics hurt taxpayers," said Lisa Allen, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office. "We said we weren't using taxpayer money. We're trying to live up to our end of the bargain, and they're trying to keep the sheriff from living up to his end of the deal. That's bad business."

Supervisors Andy Kunasek and Max Wilson voted to accept the private funds, while Supervisor Fulton Brock was absent from the meeting and did not vote. Allen said the agency will try again to get the board to accept the donations, intended to defray some of the roughly $9,600 in salary, benefits and travel expenses the Sheriff's Office reported for the deputy who accompanied the volunteer posse to Hawaii.

"We need to wait for some common sense to prevail at the board," she said. "Why in the world would they not accept the money?"

The report mentions that Citizens for a Better Arizona appeared at the hearing and voice its concerns:

About 30 members of Citizens for a Better Arizona, an anti-Arpaio activist group led by Randy Parraz, attended Wednesday's meeting to protest the agenda item. Members asked the board not to accept private donations to "backfill" the sheriff's use of public funds.

They argued that the investigation was "well outside the jurisdiction of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the duties and responsibilities of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors."

When Kunasek began explaining to the activists that the supervisors and sheriff are separately elected and that he believes the supervisors should not have a say in what criminal investigations the sheriff pursues, the crowd began heckling. Parraz pointed and yelled at Kunasek, accusing him of allowing public funds to be used for what Parraz called a waste of taxpayer money.

Stapley and Wilcox, who have filed legal claims against Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas over previous grievances, agreed with Parraz and other activists. Stapley said the board's acceptance of private funds would cover up what he believes was misspending of taxpayer funds for the Obama investigation. 

Here are some YouTube videos of yesterday's hearings:

So, in a move that will be seen by many as duplicitous, it is ok to use taxpayer money to go one a wild goose chase and then ask for private money after the fact? We have two words for this: #NoMames.

VIDEO: @RealSheriffJoe Press Conference Claims that President Obama’s Birth Certificate is a “Forgery”

Today, Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio held a press conference where he claimed (along with his Cold Case Posse) that President Obama's birth certificate is a forgery.

Here are video segments of the press conference embedded from ABC15.com.

Already on Facebook, the conspiracy theories and opinions are out in full bloom.

 

Jorge Ramos Interview with Sheriff Joe Arpaio Gets Testy and Intense

UnivsionNews posted a teaser of what will surely be a very intense and heated interview this Sunday on Al Punto. Here is a video clip (in English) where Jorge Ramos interviews Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In this segment, Arpaio says that he will reveal more information about President Obama's birth certificate on March 1 and tells Ramos that "Latinos love me." It gets heated as you can see.

Citizens for a Better Arizona to Premiere Joe Arpaio Ad That “Pulls No Punches” Tonight at GOP Debate

In today's The Huffington Post, author Jeff Biggers, whose knowledge of Arizona's latest political atmosphere is unmatched, wrote about a new ad that will "pull no punches" in its call for the resignation of Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The ad will run tonight during the telecast of the CNN GOP Debate. 

Guest Post by @Raul_Ramos: Arpaio will bust the “Illegal-Alien-in-Chief” on March 1

Guest Post by Raul Ramos y Sanchez, Award-Winning Author, RaulRamos.com

Just when you thought the cartoonish spectacles at the Maricopa County Sheriffs' Office could not get any more absurd, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made another grandstand media play that could put him in the political Looney Tunes Hall of Fame.

After launching a “Cold Case Posse” last September to investigate the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, Sheriff Arpaio has now set March 1 as D-Day for the release of the Posse’s findings. Arpaio's supporters are anxiously awaiting what the sheriff promises will be some “shocking” revelations. (Maybe the posse will ride in on horseback toting six guns. You never know with the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff”.)

Unless you are one of those who breathe the vapors that produce visions of “illegal alien reconquistas” and believe our president is a communist-fascist-atheist and a closet Muslim terrorist, you might ask why a county sheriff would get involved in a federal investigation. But if you’re asking that question, you probably don’t know much about Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff Arpaio has somehow found time for this vital investigation of our president despite a number of pressing local issues. These include:

  • At least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where Sheriff Arpaio’s office failed to follow through after the crimes were reported. This negligence brought widespread criticism for the sheriff including a rebuke by Republican Arizona Senator John McCain who was “outraged” over the sheriff’s alleged mishandling of these sex crimes.
  • On December 15, 2011 the United States Department of Justice released a report stating Sheriff Arpaio's department engaged in “ a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing” and “engages in racial profiling of Latinos; unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos.”
  • Based on the Justice Department report on discriminatory policing practices within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Department of Homeland Security revoked the MCSO's federal authority to identify and detain illegal immigrants.
  • A federal grand jury has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.

With all this, you’d think Sheriff Joe might have more important local law enforcement matters to attend than staging a hokey media bust of the “Illegal-Alien-in-Chief.” But thinking will only get you in trouble if you support Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff Arpaio’s cartoon-like, Elmer Fudd pursuit of the president along with those “wascal illegal alien invaders” would be amusing — if real human lives weren’t involved. Unfortunately, we will have to endure the next episode of his political looney tunes on March 1. Stay tuned.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez is the award-winning author of AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED. You can connect with him at RaulRamos.com.

The Chess Game Begins: Defiant @RealSheriffJoe to Cooperate with Department of Justice, But…

Yesterday, Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America's self-proclaimed Sheriff, formally responded to recent allegations by the US Department of Justice that his office was racially profiling a disproportionate number of US Latino citizens in the name of enforcing his state's immigration laws. The full letter from MCSO's legal team to the Department of Justice can be read here.

In essence, the letter says the following: we are willing to cooperate with the DOJ, but you better be up front and show us all the evidence, where it came from, and prove your allegetions. The DOJ quickly responded to the letter with the following statement, as reported by AZ Central:

The Justice Department would prefer to discuss a meaningful enforcement agreement that creates reforms in the Sheriff's Office, spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said.

"Our findings show a clear violation of the Constitution and federal law and are more than sufficient to file a complaint against a law-enforcement agency," Hinojosa said.

"MCSO purports not to understand the underlying basis for the findings when MCSO's own actions and documents form the basis of these findings. We look forward to sitting down soon with MCSO, but we will not hesitate to take prompt legal action if we determine that MCSO is again failing to act in good faith."

According to reports, the two parties now have 60 days to privately negotiate an agreement, although it is safe to say that this highly charged situation might go public and it might get ugly before it gets better. As for Sheriff Joe? AZ Central summed as to how he feels:

 

Arpaio said his request for information was based on the simple fact that he could not defend himself against discrimination charges if he is not familiar with the details that Justice investigators used as the basis for the allegations.

"How can you negotiate if you don't even know what you're negotiating on?" Arpaio asked. "Right now, I'm saying it's politics, and everyone else is saying it. Let's see if they come up with all their facts. What are they going to do next, take me to court?"

Court is the likely landing spot for the case if Arpaio fails to cooperate with Justice Department investigators in reaching a settlement.

The sheriff's response asked Justice officials to let Arpaio know within two weeks whether investigators would be able to turn over the requested documents to the Sheriff's Office by late March.

The Latest on @RealSheriffJoe: Woman Sues Sheriff’s Office For Being Shackled During Birth

Today's Sheriff Joe Arpaio update comes from Tucson, where Carlos Galindo broke a story on TucsonCitizen.com. Galindo, whose calls himself Arizona's "Unapologetic Liberal' and is a local talk show host in Tucson, posted this afternoon news that a woman has filed a lawsuit against Arpaio, the Maricopa Counry Sheriff's Office, and other defendents alleging that she was shackled during childbirth when she was in custody of the MCSO.

Here is the text that Galindo cites, a press release written by the woman's lawyers:

 

DECEMBER 20, 2011
Phoenix, AZ
RE: WOMAN SHACKLED DURING LABOR SUES JOE ARPAIO

Mendiola v. Arpaio, et. al

Arizona District Court Number 11CV2512

Yesterday, through her attorneys, Miriam Mendiola-Martinez filed a federal lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa Medical Center, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Officers, and Maricopa Medical Center doctors and nurses, alleging that she was shackled by Maricopa County Sheriff’s officers during labor and after her Cesarean delivery. Her attached complaint, alleges that Sheriff Arpaio and the other defendants violated several constitutional rights, to include the Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and the right of prisoners to adequate health care.

The complaint states that in December 2009, while she was held as a prisoner in Maricopa County jails, Ms. Mendiola-Martinez was repeatedly shackled during her labor and while she recovered from a Cesarean birth. She also alleges that a MCSO deputy or correctional officer forced her to walk, with her hands and feet shackled, wearing only a hospital gown and with a bleeding surgery wound, out of the hospital and then back into the hospital while she was being discharged from the hospital.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association oppose the shackling of women in labor or recuperating from delivery. In 2008, in Nelson v. Norris, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found the shackling of women prisoners during labor to constitute cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The Arizona Department of Corrections eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor or in postpartum recovery in 2003. In 2007, the United States Marshal’s Service eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor.

Ms. Mendiola-Martinez is represented by Attorneys Joy Bertrand, Shannon Peters, and John McBee.

As of this posting, neither Arpaio nor the MCSO has commented on this suit.

Phoenix Man Accuses the Office of @RealSheriffJoe of “Murdering” His Brother

It was a week that America's self-proclaimed Sheriff would like to forget. With the US Department of Justice reporting that the Joe Arpaio and his officers followed a pattern of racial profiling towards Latino citizens, the Department of Homeland Security removed Arpaio's office from the the nation's immigration database, and details about how Arpaio oversaw bothced sex crime investigations, there is now word out of Arizona that US veteran Ernest "Marty" Atencio was murdered in the jail of the Maricopa Sheriff's Office.

As the Phoenix New Times' Stephen Lemons writes today:

 

A distraught Mike Atencio, on his way to the hospital to watch his brother Ernest "Marty" Atencio die, told me today that he and his family believe his brother was "murdered" by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's thugs in the Fourth Avenue Jail.

"The sheriff's office murdered my brother," said Atencio, acting as spokesman for his family. "That's what I want to get out to the public right now: Sheriff Joe is murdering inmates." 

Atencio said he was told by MCSO Detective Bryan Cluff that his brother was found in his cell without a pulse. This, after being Tasered by detention officers and placed there. He was already dead before being rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

"To me it's just a ploy, what the sheriff's office has done to this point in time," Atencio told me. "They found him without a pulse. They brought him to the hospital to resuscitate him. It doesn't look very promising…He's hanging by a very thin thread."

Lemons continues:

He described his brother as being "viciously" Tasered by jail staff, causing Marty Atencio's heart attack and subsequent death.

"They did it so brutally that they put him into cardiac arrest," an angered Mike Atencio related. "And then they threw him in a cell. So after they killed him, they threw him in a cell to sit."

This contradicts the MCSO's slithery semantics from Friday, where the agency claimed Marty Atencio not die in MCSO custody. 

"What's keeping him alive is the hospital function and the life support," Mike Atencio told me. "Without the life support he would die instantly because he was dead before it even started."

Atencio said he was not sure if the family will have to make the ultimate decision to remove him from that life support today.

He wants the world to know that his brother was "the most patriotic guy on the planet," a military vet, proud of his country. He also described his brother as having "special needs," and said his brother's medication for his illness was "not balanced" at the time he was arrested.

The MCSO had interacted with Atencio's brother on minor violations in the past, and should have had record of his problems. That's assuming they cared to check.

His voice breaking, Atencio pointed the finger at the current political climate in Arizona, also noting Arpaio's pattern of racial discrimination as detailed in the recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the eyes of "Arpaio and his staff," his brother was, "just another [Hispanic]," according to Atencio.

"But not to the city of Phoenix," said Atencio, his voice breaking. "To the city of Phoenix, he was a fine American Latino."

It is clear that Arpaio is facing mounting pressure to resign from his position and the Atencio news will do very little to defend his actions.