Joe Arpaio's Pal Andy Kunasek on Blast by Activist Beto Soto in New Dennis Gilman Video
Dennis Gilman's latest: Beto Soto vs. the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
As we get closer to June 14 -- simultaneously Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 81st birthday and the date that parties in the racial profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio are to appear before federal Judge G. Murray Snow -- the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office becomes more emphatic in its stated intent to nix (at least for the moment) its racial-profiling ways.
Last week, the Arizona Republic reported that the MCSO's notorious Human Smuggling Unit would no longer be patrolling county highways hunting Hispanics and that Arpaio's work site raids seeking undocumented workers have been placed on hold.
Fox News reported that the fear-inducing signs on MCSO vehicles asking citizens to "Help Sheriff Joe Arpaio Fight Illegal Immigration" by calling Joe's report-a-brown person number are being removed.
The number itself is now out of service.
And in a real eye-rolling moment pointed out by my colleague Matt Hendley, the MCSO issued a press release this week talking about how "six men walking in the desert" had been rescued by MCSO deputies, who "drove all six to the nearest convenience store at their request and then contacted Border Patrol to notify them of the situation."
Talk about bending over backwards. Or would that be forwards?
Then Friday, the Associated Press got in on the action, announcing that the MCSO had "temporarily suspended" its anti-immigration activities.
The AP quoted MCSO spokesman Brandon Jones as stating that, "We are out of the immigration business until that hearing," meaning the one on Joe's b-day.
And the piece de resistance, Arpaio's $1 million legal beagle Tim Casey told the AP that Snow's ruling was so important that, "It will invariably impact individual rights and law enforcement operations throughout the United States."
Wow, way to kiss up to the judge, Tim. One question: If the ruling is so significant (and I agree that it is) then why have you already signaled that an appeal is in the works, an appeal that could cost the county another $2 million?