FOX Showcases Notorious Anti-Immigrant Sheriff on New Reality Series
America’s Voice condemns the new FOX “reality” series that will give a louder megaphone to a public official known for his anti-immigrant tactics and racial profiling of Latinos. Smile! You’re Under Arrest premiers December 27th and will star the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County, Arizona. Unfortunately, Fox’s newest reality star has a history of promoting virulently anti-Latino policies that leave tough police-work behind in favor of blatant racial profiling.
“This reality series won’t capture the reality of the Latino population living in Maricopa County. Sheriff Arpaio’s dangerous crusade has left the Latino community scared and his county less safe by prioritizing racial profiling over executing felony warrants. FOX television, famous for its controversial shows, may not realize how controversial a figure Arpaio is to the Latino community in the United States and should expect a backlash. He is a modern day Bull Connor and should not be given a spotlight on national television unless it is to highlight how his approach to law enforcement is un-American and ineffective,” said Paco Fabián, Communications Director of America’s Voice.
If FOX is looking for a controversial reality show they’d do better showing this side of Arpaio’s law enforcement tactics:
2,700 Lawsuits Filed Against Arpaio: Between 2004 and 2007, 2,700 lawsuits were filed against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Federal and County Courts – 50 times the number of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined. [Phoenix New Times, 6/10/08 & 12/7/07]
- Arpaio Prioritizes Immigrant Sweeps over Serving Felony Arrest Warrants: During an interview by the Arizona Republic, the interviewer pointed out in a question: “You get criticized by local law-enforcement agencies for not serving felony arrest warrants, shirking that responsibility in favor of immigrant sweeps, which requires manpower and other resources. Mayor Phil Gordon says you have created ‘a sanctuary county for felons’ and that you have ‘40,000 felony warrants stacked on (your) desk.’ Why not go after the ‘real’ criminals and actively serve outstanding arrest warrants, which local agencies see as a county obligation and responsibility?”[Arizona Republic, 4/27/08]
- Phoenix Mayor Asks US Department of Justice to Investigate Arpaio: The Mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon, wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking that the Justice Department’s civil rights division and the FBI investigate Arpaio’s immigration crackdowns. He alleged that the sweeps included “a pattern and practice of conduct that includes discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests.” [Arizona Republic, 11/24/08]
- An Investigative Journalism Study Finds Arpaio Targets Latinos: The Arizona Republic examined Arpaio’s arrest logs from eight of his notorious and high-profile sweeps. The study “showed that deputies arrested more Latinos than non-Latinos during each of the operations; that even when the patrols were held in mostly White areas, deputies arrested more Latinos than non-Latinos; and that deputies arrested Latinos in greater numbers than non-Latinos following minor traffic violations.” [Arizona Republic, 11/24/08]
To view the full factsheet please visit – www.americasvoiceonline.org/sheriffjoe
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