A New Low, Even for Sheriff Joe

Our local county Sheriff's deputies arrested four people in a County Board of Supervisor's meeting whose only "crime" was applauding for a speaker who criticized Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Friction between Maricopa County government officials and a vocal coalition of activists who oppose Sheriff Joe Arpaio reached a new level when authorities arrested four people during a County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday.

Sheriff's deputies and county Protective Service officers arrested two men and two women in the middle of the meeting when they stood and applauded a speaker who criticized Arpaio.

Joel Nelson, Jason Odhner, Monica Sanschafer and Kristy Theilen all were charged with suspicion of disorderly conduct and trespassing, said sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Brian Lee....

The crackdown brought the anti-Arpaio activist arrest tally to nine in the past four months.

The article includes video, so you can judge for yourself just how disorderly these people were.  Readers of this site continue to heap on me examples of Arpaio's positive public press (via PR staff paid with my tax dollars) as evidence I am too hard on Joe.  Look, I don't care how inspired his program is for caring for lost dogs with prisoners, at his core he has no respect for basic civil rights.  He is a government thug who distracts potential critics, like a magician, with pink underwear and bologna sandwiches.

Special big props to County Supervisor Max Wilson, who effectively eschewed any civilian control of the police, confirming to Arpaio that he is a law unto himself and accountable to no one:

Supervisor Max Wilson. R-District 4, declined comment on whether he was comfortable with the arrests. "I don't tell the police how to do their job. I don't instruct them to do it or when to do it. They're professionals at it and that's the way they handle it," he said.

J Edgar Hoover would have been quite comfortable with this model.

  • http://cardioblogy.blogspot.com/ Jens Fiederer

    Aren't you just a little worried about being arrested yourself?

    Or do you figure Joe doesn't read blogs?

  • Captain Obviousness

    Wow... That video is unbelievable. What was it, 10 seconds of applause and they get arrested??? I can't believe that could happen in America.

  • http://tjic.com TJIC

    I know that in Texas it's legal to resist unlawful arrest with force, including deadly force.

    Wonder what the law is in AZ?

  • joshv

    Wow. I am simply amazed that such things can actually happen in the US, while the president of the county board just sits there and ignores it.

  • Jim Collins

    I want to know why the ACLU isn't there defending their right to free speech? If flipping someone the bird is protected speech in Pennsylvania, I think a good case can be made for applause being protected in Arizona. The tresspass charge is just plain BS.

  • mahtso

    I am a little confused by this post because I don't see Sherriff Arpaio in the video and, to me it looks like he had nothing to do with the incident.

    In considering whether or not the deputies acted appropriately, people should be aware that in the last few months groups of people have deliberately disrupted the Supervisors’ meetings in an effort to vent their frustrations about the Sherriff, which (rightly or wrongly) has led to a policy of little or no tolerance.

  • Nick S.

    Exactly how is a citizen even possibly guilty of trespassing at a government office during operating hours?

  • mahtso

    "Exactly how is a citizen even possibly guilty of trespassing at a government office during operating hours?" I can't provide a complete and full answer, but I believe that there is an Arizona Revised Statute providing that the state's buildings are private property.

    This makes sense, because it could become impossible to conduct state business if anyone was allowed to enter the buildings on a whim. This may sound far-fetched, but you should realize that most of Arizona's buildings are located in a bad neighborhood; so when it is 100 degrees out (which is only common 4 or 5 months of the year), if the buildings were open, it would be a good place for transients to gather to get out of the heat. (And, of course there is the issue with restrooms).

    With respect to the people in the video, my guess would be that the theory is that as soon as they disrupted the meeting they had no official business in the building and were trespassers.

  • Ken

    You liberals are pretty funny. 4 people were arrested and its terrible. Tom Tancredo can't even begin speaking because of a bunch of liberal punk college kids and its okay. Or go look at the video on drudgereport.com of the conservative reporter covering the Katie Couric Media award. He was standing outside!!!! Not even in the building and he certainly didn't break a window like those moron college kids in NC. On to something else. Illegal immigration is bad. It hurts our economy and presents a threat to national security, you know that thing that lets you post dumb shit about the world being so unfair blah blah blah instead of fearing for your life if you speak ill of the ayatollah like a good portion of the rest of the world. Prisoners pretty much deserve whatever they get, short of outright abuse bordering on torture. Illegal immigrants get what they deserve when they try to cross a dessert with only a few gallons of water and carrying a metric ton of crap. In short Go Joe. Keep up the good fight. You people don't deserve the freedom you enjoy which is guaranteed for you by the military and people like Sheriff Joe.