Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio believes that President Joe Biden should invite him to the White House for a “beer summit” in the same spirit of reconciliation and exchange of ideas that was intended in the one held shortly after former President Barack Obama took office.
You’ll recall Obama accused the Cambridge Police Department of acting “stupidly,” when an officer arrested Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for disorderly conduct in July 2009.
Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley knocked on Gates’ broken-in front door.
The officer explained to the professor that he was investigating a reported potential burglary and asked him to step outside. Gates refused to do so.
“Why, because I’m a black man in America?” Gates exclaimed to Crowley, accusing the officer of racism.
According to the police report, Gates refused to show identification at first. However, Gates’ attorney told The Times his client did show his license and Harvard identification card.
Gates followed Crowley outside and began yelling at him, the officer wrote in his report, and the sergeant warned him “that he was becoming disorderly.”
Soon thereafter Crowley arrested and handcuffed Gates. The incident became a national news story, with much commentary focusing on it being an example of racial profiling. The disorderly conduct charges were later dropped.
“I unfortunately … gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge police department or Sgt. Crowley specifically,” Obama said, regarding his “acted stupidly” comment. “And I could’ve calibrated those words differently. And I told this to Sgt. Crowley.”
Obama further stated he felt both parties overreacted, based on what he understood to be the facts.
At a news conference on July 23, 2009, the president told reporters, “What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”
The famous beer summit, at which Biden was also present, occurred a week later on July 30.
Did it include the “Beer Summit” at the Rose Garden? pic.twitter.com/m0t0L1Hu4D
— Enjoy Life (@LifesGoodOver60) June 16, 2020
Arpaio wants his own “beer summit” at the White House now, suggesting that like the incident with Crowley, the Obama/Biden administration unfairly accused him of racial profiling when he and his deputies were simply doing their jobs.
“The first hundred days I became a target, and information [I] received indicates that the [Department of Justice] investigation did not have evidence. They went solely on media reports,” Arpaio told The Western Journal this week.
“You know, I worked the border for 38 years,” he explained. “I was the director of the [Drug Enforcement Administration] in Mexico City and South America, Central America, Texas, Arizona.”
Arpaio was also the Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff for six terms — from 1993 to 2017.
“So I would think that the president or the vice president would at least pick my brain and see what all that experience — what I could add to help them and the people of our country. And I’ll put my resume against anybody,” the 88-year-old said.
Arpaio could not help but note the Biden administration is at least employing one of his old policies — for which he took much grief — of housing people being detained in tents.
NEW: The Biden administration is preparing to house migrants arrested after illegally crossing the southern border in outdoor tents, a move not seen since the 2019 humanitarian crisis during the Trump administration. https://t.co/nzCH3Nk9q5 pic.twitter.com/eX2bZ8QYG3
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) February 10, 2021
The former sheriff described the actions the Obama DOJ took against him as a “hit job.”
In March 2010 during a visit to Phoenix, then-Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed an investigation into Arpaio and his deputies on allegations of racial profiling was ongoing.
“Our civil rights division is working on [the investigation of Arpaio] in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Arizona,” Holder said, according to the Phoenix New Times.
“And I expect that we will produce results, but the investigation is, at this point, ongoing, and I can’t say much more than that.”
In the book, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An American Legend,” Arpaio recounted, “It was apparent that the Justice Department considered any stop of an illegal alien, whether it was for cause — or not — to be a violation of an illegal alien’s constitutionally protected rights.
“Since Obama rode to victory partially on a platform of open borders, there is no doubt that me and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office were going to be front and center in the demonization of enforcing our immigration laws — and that they would label our enforcement actions as racist.”
Arpaio noted in the book that the MCSO entered into an agreement in 2007 with the Department of Homeland Security, under an expanded Section 287(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
“Under 287(g), I signed a contract with the head of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] at my office to assist with the enforcement of immigration laws in Maricopa County,” he said.
“Upon execution of that agreement, 160 officers that were qualified were then trained for six months by DHS, technically as ICE agents.”
Arpaio recounted that his deputies operated under the supervision of ICE.
“The [Memorandum of Agreement] and our training were very clear that race could be used as ‘one’ criterion used by officers in the field when combined with ‘probable’ cause,” he said.
“My deputies were never taught, encouraged, or advised to pull someone over on a traffic stop just for being Hispanic or for the appearance of being from Mexican descent,” Arpaio added.
In 2010, Arizona also passed S.B. 1070, which further empowered local law enforcement to uphold immigration laws.
The move came after state and local officials had pleaded with the federal government to seal the border, citing increased criminal activity in their communities from illegal aliens, according to Arpaio.
That same month, U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow issued an injunction barring Arpaio and the MCSO from detaining “any person based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States,” according to Reuters.
In May 2013, Snow ruled that the policies of Arpaio were discriminatory.
The following month, the DOJ filed a statement of interest in the case and requested that an independent monitor be appointed to observe the MCSO for compliance, which was done.
“The vagueness of the orders made it impossible to comply,” Arpaio said in “American Legend.”
The coup de grâce by the Obama DOJ came in October 2016 — just days before early voting began in Arpaio’s re-election race — when the department announced it was filing for criminal contempt of court charges against the sheriff.
“Certainly, the timing was no accident, as Judge Snow could have made this same erroneous criminal referral months — even years — prior,” Arpaio said.
The sheriff lost his bid to serve a seventh consecutive term the following month.
Federal prosecutors chose to file a misdemeanor charge, thus circumventing the need for a jury trial, and U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, specifically denied Arpaio one. She then convicted him in July 2017.
“It’s sad when they call me a convicted criminal all over the country,” Arpaio told The Western Journal in 2018. “It’s a misdemeanor. The same as a barking dog.”
Trump pardoned Arpaio in August 2017.
Arpaio reiterated his request for a beer summit in his interview this week with The Western Journal.
“I just want the same treatment that they gave to that cop and that black professor over beer,” he said.
“And I think I deserve [it given] all the experience I’ve had, and all these people going after me, all these critics. If I was the president, I’d love to talk to me, pick my brain.”
“I have a lot of information to give.”
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