This holiday, Fox is turning self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio into its newest reality television star (as if we needed another one). “Smile, You’re Under Arrest” will celebrate an old man on a power trip, with an appalling record of racial profiling and civil rights abuses.
Now he will get paid to “bluff and cuff” criminals on national television. Fox may think this is funny – but I definitely don’t.
This is a dangerous step towards normalizing Arpaio’s widespread abuse of power, infringement of civil rights, racial profiling and anti-immigrant attitudes. Recently, we’ve seen horrible examples of what happens when immigrants are dehumanized – imagine that dehumanization on a national scale. It’s terrifying.
Here are some facts about Sheriff Joe’s reign of terror:
- 2,700 lawsuits have been filed against Arpaio
- Joe prioritizes immigrant sweeps over prosecuting felons (there are 40,000 outstanding warrants in his county)
- The Sheriff discriminates against Latinos, as found in an Arizona Republic study
- Joe even staged a phony murder plot against himself!
As Sheriff, it’s been Joe’s job to keep Maricopa County safe from crime. But Joe Arpaio has 40,000 outstanding felony warrants rotting on his desk , and violent crimes have soared under his watch.
Instead of prosecuting felons, Joe spends his time recruiting “posses” to sweep low-crime, Latino neighborhoods. He stops people for “driving while brown.”
America’s Voice is spearheading the effort to call on the Department of Justice to investigate Joe Arpaio’s dangerous, racist antics.
Visit their site to sign the petition to the Department of Justice. We need all of you to help put an end to Sheriff Joe’s extreme antics. We will not allow this behavior to be glorified.
While Fox may find this amusing, we’re ready to get Arpaio the attention he really deserves. Tell the Justice Department to do something about this right now! Sign the petition here.