Wednesday, February 24, 2021

In doing ‘his job,’ Arpaio neglected child abuse


In the wake of a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey and natural beauty like the total solar eclipse, stories about a presidential pardon tend to get swept onto page 6. The timing is probably the biggest reason why few people said much about President Donald Trump’s pardon last week for Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, which includes Phoenix.

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When he was sheriff, officers would charge random Latinos with any old offense just so they could haul them behind bars. A Justice Department report, sent from its Civil Rights Division, made it sound like Arizona was third-world country, given the strength of the tendency on the part of Mr Arpaio’s officers to target Latinos.

But how the US enforces immigration policy is beyond our scope, except for students or school staff members who may be affected by illegal actions on the part of the police. And Mr Trump’s pardon was unequivocal.

What concerns me the most, as it concerned the economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times, was that as Mr Arpaio’s officers were devoting all this time to rounding up Hispanics illegally, they mostly neglected to follow up on cases involving the sexual abuse of children.

A report in the Boston Globe from 2011, when Mr Arpaio was still the sheriff in Maricopa County, remembers two cases of horrific child sexual assault that were …

… among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007—including dozens of alleged child molestations—that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

In other words, even as Hispanic Americans were being held and abused in jail on bogus charges, actual abusers and child molesters were staying on their game and abusing children.

Although it’s also beyond the scope of Voxitatis to comment on the president’s regard for Latinos, I personally find it appalling that bona fide news reports and the federal Justice Department’s findings are being overlooked as he pardons a man for actions that replace Jews in the Third Reich with Hispanics in white supremacy America.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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