Sheriff Joe Arpaio wrote a letter of invitation to civil rights leader Al Sharpton-Truth!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio wrote a letter of invitation to civil rights leader Al Sharpton-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
A forwarded email containing a letter addressed to Rev. Al Sharpton from  Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in the state of Arizona.  It is an invitation from the Sheriff to discuss the policies and training in Maricopa county with Sharpton when he visits in June.  Sharpton is organizing a protest march and demanding that Sheriff Arpaio be fired for racial profiling.
The Truth:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio wrote the letter to the Rev. Al Sharpton in response to the civil rights leaders plan to organize a protest in June 2009 in Phoenix, AZ.  The Maricopa County Sheriffs Department has been rounding up illegal aliens in a series of immigration and crime sweeps.  Meanwhile, Sharpton is claiming that this is an act of racial profiling and is calling for the sheriff to step down, according to an April 7, 2009 Reuters article.  Click for letter in Adobe PDF format.

The Maricopa County Sheriff has been the subject of much controversy over the years about his treatment of prisoners forbidding smoking and coffee, outdoor jail tent city, pink underwear for prisoners and low cost diets. has finding posted:  Click here.

Maricopa Sheriff website says that their department interviews every inmate for immigration status and as of this posting, “Sheriff’s detention officers have turned over 23,806 illegal immigrants to Immigration authorities for deportation.”

According to the Reuters article, Sharpton said, “Arpaio needs to be confronted, he needs to be removed. … We also need to suspend the law that he is using. We must stand with our brown brothers and sisters.”

Reuters also reported that an inquiry of Arpaio’s activities had been recently launched by the U.S. Department of Justice.  Hearings were also conducted about the federal program that permitted these tactics by the  U.S. House Judiciary Committee.   Arpaio has posted on his website that he had no intention of appearing before a senate panel on illegal immigration.  Click to for statement.

In a March 25, 2009 media release from the Sheriff’s department a two week series of traffic stops that netted over 108 illegal aliens.  Sheriff Arpaio said, “My promise to the taxpayers of this county is this: as illegal aliens continue to pour into this county from Mexico, and they do, my deputies will meet them head on within the borders of this county with an equal degree of determination to stop them in their tracks.”

It appeared that the investigations and protests had no effect on the Sheriff’s promise.  KNXV-TV, an ABC affiliate in Phoenix, AZ reported on Thursday, April 23, 2009 that Arpaio told them that the Maricopa County Sheriffs Department would be mobilizing a posse of 200 volunteers for a sweep beginning at 5PM and lasting through the next day.

updated 04/23/99