Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Being Exposed in Investigation

Sheriff Joe Apaio

By Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos

Back in 2011, Armando Gutierrez was heading to Las Vegas with friends and close to $5000 in cash from his tax refund. Gutierrez was pulled over by sheriff’s deputy Charley Armendariz.

Deputy Charley Armendariz found that the driver and another passenger had a small amount of pot and spotted nearly $5,000 in the glove box. He seized the money and arrested Gutierrez for having an outstanding warrant for fishing without a license, the police report said.
Gutierrez spent about 10 hours in jail and wasn’t charged with a crime arising from the traffic stop. But he didn’t get his money until nine months later — and only after a series of emails were sent to the deputy, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office and others.

What’s important to note here is that Gutierrez wasn’t charged with anything. Also, after 9 months of trying to get his money back, the final email sent was from Gutierrez’s attorney, Herman Alcantar Jr., which also happened to threaten legal action.

Gutierrez is a citizen of the United States. However, for many other Latino people living and working in Arizona, their lack of citizenship has resulted in lots of missing cash and other possessions after contact with Phoenix-area deputies, allegedly.

Stories like these have been surfacing for months, since Arpaio’s office had to open an investigation into allegations that Armendariz, as well as the entire “Human Smuggling Unit“, was shaking down illegal immigrants.

Armendariz was arrested in May after investigators found more than 150 driver’s licenses, bags of evidence and more than 100 license plates at his Phoenix home. He said he was innocent and implicated former colleagues on Arpaio’s immigrant smuggling squad. Officials say Armendariz was later found dead in his house in a suicide by hanging.

Armendariz also videotaped all of his traffic stops and was able to preserve, in video, some of his corrupt policing.

But don’t you worry, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is going to bring his fearless, no-talk-back style of no-nonsense, gut-driven decision making, and his take-no-prisoners magnifying glass to it. You remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He is best known for being a racist bully and, more recently, he lead a well publicized, costly and exhaustive, investigation into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. So you know it’s going to be handled well.

Or it’s going to be handled just the way you imagined it would be:

A federal judge overseeing the racial-profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office blasted officials Tuesday for what has been deemed an inadequate internal investigation into a former deputy’s misconduct and allegations that his unit was engaged in theft. Judge G. Murray Snow also reserved criticism for Sheriff Joe Arpaio following a public statement in which the sheriff indicated he would again engage in unconstitutional practices, and the judge ordered Arpaio to undergo the same training required of his deputies as a result of the case.

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Kos.