Sixty Black Leaders Condemn Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By Jorge Rivas Jan 19, 2010

Last Thursday, January 14, an advertisement appeared in the The Arizona Republic newspaper comparing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the infamous 1960s Birmingham public safety commissioner Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor, who fought against integration by using fire hoses and attack dogs on protesters. The advertisement details the most alarming actions taken by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, including: •The humiliation of over 200 individuals chained in shackles and marched through the streets of Phoenix, and their segregation based on national origin; • Use of Sheriff’s Office resources to harass public officials, civic organizations, newspapers, and community leaders publicly opposed to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s negligent actions; • Profiling of individuals based on their ethnicity and language.

• Irresponsible remarks and actions that denigrate his office, including stating on national television that “it’s an honor” to be compared with the Ku Klux Klan, and public photographs with a self-identified neo-Nazi. The advertisement was paid for by Center for New Community and signed by sixty prominent Black leaders from twenty-three states stating

“As Black and African American leaders we call on Attorney General of the United States Eric H. Holder and the Department of Justice to prove once and for all that this is not Arpaio’s America.”