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Reporters Who Exposed Arpaio Receive Pulitzer, as Colbert Reports

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 04/21/2009 at 1:36pm

Arpaio protestAs Jeralyn at TalkLeft reports today, a newspaper series exposing Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s costly abuse of power in Arizona just won the Pulitzer prize:

Sheriff Joe Arapaio is a national disgrace. Among the Pulitzer prizes awarded today was one to Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune (Mesa, Arizona) for its coverage of Arpaio’s immigration enforcement policies.

The Pulitzer committee noted that Gabrielson and Giblin received the award for “their adroit use of limited resources to reveal, in print and online, how a popular sheriff’s focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of violent crime and other aspects of public safety.”

We’ve been working hard to bring Sheriff Arpaio’s grave misconduct to light, and we applaud Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblinfor their tremendous reporting on the issue. For the last few months we’ve asked our readers to show Joe Arpaio what justice really means, through a series of videos, blog posts, online petitions, and other action opportunities. Our partners helped us to collect signatures from 38,000 individuals who would no longer tolerate the Sheriff’s civil rights violations, and deliver these to the Justice Department.

Well, this week’s news is surely a testament to the hard work of all of the groups that have been fighting the uphill battle in Arizona for years.

On a more humorous note, Sheriff Joe got a bit of a tongue-lashing from comic Stephen Colbert yesterday, with more than 1,000 activists faxing the show’s producers and 30 people standing out in the rain (see photo above) to let the audience know about Arpaio’s racial profiling and abuse of power. Protesters got a shout-out from Colbert on the show, as did the Pulitzer-winning journalists (actually, I think Stephen gave Arpaio an honorary Pulitzer for his involvement in the whole affair).

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