Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
In yet another publicity stunt, the self-described "America's toughest sheriff" Joe Arpaio conducted his sixteenth "immigration sweep" last week. This time he brought with him a belt-fed .50-caliber machine gun that can shoot accurately up to a mile as a display of the kind of force he would use if anyone hurts a deputy. Joe Arpaio launches 16th immigration sweep in desert:
"I am trying to send a message to Mexico," he said. "We will not take anyone hurting our deputies. We will fight back."
* * *
The 7-year-old gun has not yet been used, Arpaio said. "It is more for defense." Nor have any of his deputies yet been harmed in a border scuffle.
"We have been very lucky," he said.
This bogus "toughest sheriff" is actually making residents of Maricopa County less safe, and as other sheriff's adopt his publicity stunt methods to get elected, Arizonans become less safe. You read that right. New research from America's Voice demonstrates that Arizona Immigration Law Could Lead to Surge in Violent Crime:
Unfortunately, the evidence shows that the Arpaio approach is a proven failure at reducing crime. From 2002 to 2009, the crime rate in Maricopa County has increased 58 percent, while the state as a whole averaged a 12 percent decrease. Compare that 58 percent crime increase to other localities of Arizona that did not use the immigrant-targeting approach. In that same time period, Phoenix enjoyed a 14 percent decrease; Tempe, a 26 percent decrease; and Mesa, a 31 percent decrease.
SB 1070 mandates that this proven failure spread statewide, forcing every police jurisdiction in Arizona reverse years of successful trust building between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Police will now have to spend precious time and squander community trust checking the status of anyone they apprehend who they have “reasonable suspicion” is undocumented. And if law enforcement officials don’t adopt Arpaio’s priorities and put enforcing immigration law “to its fullest extent” at the top of the agenda, they could get sued.
Under the direction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County’s law enforcement regularly sweeps Latino neighborhoods and pulls over Latino drivers while felony warrants go unaddressed. Arpaio’s department is under Federal investigation, his jails have had their health certification revoked and police chiefs around the nation have decried his tactics. Sheriff Arpaio takes pride in his anti-immigrant reputation, openly admitting to arresting “very few non-Hispanics.”