Sheriff shouldn’t pick and choose laws to enforce
I’d like to introduce to you a despicable man named Joseph Arpaio, former sheriff from Arizona. He was a self-professed “constitutional sheriff” and a very dangerous man who thumbed his nose at state and federal laws in his pursuit of his extreme fascist/racist vision of America. And he was convicted for it.
In his years as sheriff, many of Arpaio’s policies were struck down by the US Supreme Court. According to Wikipedia, Arpaio has been accused of abuse of power, official misconduct, misuse of funds, failure to investigate sex crimes (when white males were accused), criminal negligence, torture, improper clearance of cases (when white males were accused), unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, election law violations and racial profiling.
He was found guilty of criminal contempt of court for violating the civil rights of US citizens. Donald Trump gave him a presidential pardon and called him a “patriot.” Arpaio investigated President Obama’s birth certificate and to this day believes it was a forgery. Fortunately, he was defeated in his sheriff race in 2016.
In a recent letter in the Hub, there was a thinly-veiled attempt to hold Arpaio up as someone our future Orleans County Sheriff should emulate; someone who ignores state and federal law when there is a question about its constitutionality.
Excuse me, but the duty of the sheriff is to enforce all laws through investigation and arrest. It is the duty of the Orleans County District Attorney to indict and prosecute. Therein lies the check and balance of our constitutional judicial system. We don’t need a rogue sheriff doing an end-run around laws enacted by our duly elected legislators. Stay vigilant.