Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tea Party Patriots Support Killer Sheriff

The site, billing itself as The Home of The Patriotic Resistance, is supporting Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

So let me tell you a few things about Sheriff Joe. How about we start with the wrongful death of Scott Norberg.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Norberg wrongful death lawsuit was settled out of court for $8.25 million. Sheriff Sheriff Joe Arpaio has repeatedly claimed that this cost the taxpayers nothing since it was paid by an insurance company.

Truth: At the time of the settlement the county had a $1 million "deductible" on its coverage. The taxpayers had to pay the first $1,000,000 on this case and now the deductible has been raised to $5 million.
Well I have a few more details on that case.
The investigation into the death of Scott Norberg is a perfect example. Norberg, who had struggled with drug addiction, was arrested after attempting to slug a cop. He was in Arpaio's jail just 15 hours before he was handcuffed by guards, kicked, stomped on, and then strapped into a restraint chair. There, guards held a towel over his head, literally suffocating him. Medical records later revealed that he had been shot with a stun gun at least 14 times and beaten so badly that his larynx cracked.

The county was forced to settle with Norberg's family for $8.25 million. Astonishingly, says Norberg's attorney, Mike Manning, Arpaio promoted the guards who did the beating.

Arpaio's critics say Norberg's death was far from an isolated incident. But there's one reason the case continues to be talked about when so many other inmate deaths have fallen into obscurity: Scott Norberg's family had enough money to hire a good attorney. Manning's investigation showed that important records had been destroyed — including the X-ray of the cracked larynx. He also obtained the videotape that showed Norberg pleading for his life.

Even then, Arpaio managed to thwart a criminal investigation.

The sheriff's internal affairs investigators, Manning says, failed to give deputies the proper warnings before interviewing them. That invalidated the evidence they had obtained. Even worse, internal affairs and criminal investigators sat in on the same interviews, which Manning says is strictly forbidden by most police agency policies.

"There is no doubt, no other explanation, than that they intentionally botched the investigation," Manning says. "This kind of stuff was too stupid — too stupid even for them."
Or how about the death of Charles Angster III?
Mentally retarded Charles Agster III, 33, was arrested for trespassing on August 6, 2001. Detention officers pulled a hood over his head and slammed him into a restraint chair. Agster was asphyxiated to the point that he became brain dead. He was pronounced legally dead three days later. In 2006, a federal court awarded $9 million to his family.
Or how about this case?
Deborah Braillard, 46, was documented as a diabetic in the jail's health records. Her cellmates say a nurse did not give Braillard insulin, and then detention officers ignored her when she went into diabetic shock. Braillard died on January 23, 2005, ultimately from lack of insulin.
Ah. What a well run jail. A fine example for law enforcement everywhere.
Legally blind and serving a short sentence in Tent City for shoplifting, Brian Crenshaw, 40, was transferred to solitary confinement after a tussle with Arpaio's detention officers. Six days later, he was found comatose in his solitary cell with a broken neck, ruptured intestines, broken toes, and severe internal injuries. Arpaio maintains Crenshaw sustained the injuries when he fell off his four-foot bed. Crenshaw died on March 14, 2005.
Yeah. He fell. It could happen to anyone.

And Sheriff Joe's deputies are a kind and caring lot.
On March 26, 1996, Jose Rodriquez, 39, died in a pool of his own vomit on a jail floor. His cries for help went ignored by Arpaio's jail employees. Rodriquez's dehydration, fever and twitching ultimately led to his death, even while inmates shouted for help.
Well those inmates were just troublemakers. Not doubt Sheriff Joe's boys meted out to them the punishment they deserved.

From what I can tell Sheriff Joe has cost the taxpayers in his area over $40 million for the mismanagement of the jail. I was under the impression the Tea Parties stood for fiscal restraint. So even on that count the Sheriff is not a good exemplar of the movement.

My advice? Until cleans up its act don't give them a dime or any other kind of support. If they were trying to discredit the Tea Parties they couldn't be doing a better job.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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