It’s been 25 years in the making, but former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is finally paying the price for at least some of his misdeeds.
The six-term sheriff, who lost his bid for a seventh term in November, was convicted in federal court for misdemeanor contempt of court charges. He faces up to six months in jail at his sentencing hearing, set for October 5.
Arpaio’s victims and detractors applauded Monday’s ruling, but also lamented that it didn’t come sooner, considering his past.
“I have mixed feelings right now,” said Viridiana Hernandez, executive director of the Center for Neighborhood Leadership. “I feel relief and excitement because this is a community victory, but I’m also reflecting on all the pain and trauma that this person caused so many immigrant families like mine. When my dad’s work was raided, we went into hiding, we abandoned our home, he was unemployed for years. Today, my family, like thousands of other families, will get some peace, they will get some justice.”
Salvador Reza, a community organizer and civil rights activist who has battled Arpaio over the years, said the community he represents is “very happy” about the verdict, but “not completely satisfied because the culture of racial profiling that Arpaio created still exists.”
He’d like to see Arpaio sent to the county jail to face the sort of conditions he imposed on pretrial detainees and inmates.
“I know people are going to say that he’s elderly and he spent his life in law enforcement, but this is what happens when you disobey a federal judge,” Reza said. “They should make him wear pink underwear and eat the foods that he…
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