Activists Hold "Real" Community Meeting at Joe Arpaio's Office
Activists aren't satisfied with the court-ordered community meetings run by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and its "community liaison," who participated in the MCSO's immigration sweeps.
So, members of Citizens for a Better Arizona brought folding chairs to the new MCSO headquarters in Phoenix and held what they called a "real" community meeting in the lobby.
-Joe Arpaio's "Community Liaison" and the Bigoted MCSO E-mails in Melendres
Both Sheriff Joe Arpaio and community liaison officer Hector Martinez were invited to attend the impromptu meeting, but neither showed.
At the meeting, people discussed how the MCSO's official community meetings were ineffective and the recent settlement payouts to former County Supervisor Don Stapley and the co-founders of New Times, and they even held a vote to determine whether they should declare Arpaio "America's most racist and expensive sheriff." (The vote was unanimous in favor of Arpaio's new title, so they gave a bag of garbage to Arpaio and the MCSO as a reward.)
See, as Arpaio and the MCSO were on the losing end of the Melendres v. Arpaio civil rights case, Judge G. Murray Snow laid out a series of things the Sheriff's Office needs to do in order to right its wrongs and rebuild trust in the community for its racial-profiling practices.
Quietly holding these community meetings, run by a deputy who participated in the sweeps, and was among those on the MCSO's Human Smuggling Unit, who shared racist e-mails, the people from Citizens for a Better Arizona really don't think the Sheriff's Office is really complying with Judge Snow's order, nor is it helping rebuild trust with the community.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.