As “America’s toughest sheriff,” Joe Arpaio, knows all too well, it’s hard to investigate sexual assaults when you have so much other stuff (mostly an obsession with “illegals”) on your mind.
The sheriff’s office in Maricopa Count, AZ, recently confirmed that between 2005 to 2007, it failed to investigate 432 alleged sex crimes. Arpaio felt so terrible about this, he delivered a heartfelt apology to the victims, saying ”Sometimes these kinds of things occur in big departments… if there were any victims, I apologize.” Though uncertain that there were any victims among the more than 400 cases he dropped the ball on, he was somehow certain that his failures to investigate crimes didn’t lead to any additional crimes.
Yet Journalist Ryan Gabrielson from Center for Investigative Reporting disproves this claim. It turns out that just two years after Arpaio’s office ignored an “alleged” rape, the same suspect admitted to raping another victim. The second victim and her family contended that had the sheriff’s department actually investigated the first case and nabbed the rapist the first time around, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to rape more women. You can read the story here.
But before you judge Arpaio too harshly, try to put yourself in his shoes. I think you’d be pretty pooped if you were as busy as him. Arpaio has organized posses dedicated to hunting “illegals”; forced undocumented women to give birth in shackles; kept prisoners in a “tent city” or “concentration camp” where 2000 prisoners live in tents outside in over 100 degree weather; instituted the world’s first all-juvenile volunteer chain gang; run a website where he brags about serving the cheapest meals in the U.S., feeding prisoners only twice a day, and spending more on canines’ food; made prisoners wear pink underwear and uses pink handcuffs because of the color’s “calming psychological effects.” And Arpaio maintains a website pinkunderwear.com, where he sells pink underwear handcuffs, both of which bear his signature.
So cut the guy some slack.