County Attorney says sheriff’s patrols meet legal standards

Biased newspaper report has enough incendiary language to stoke a bonfire

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has reviewed the procedures followed in the patrols that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has recently conducted in valley cities, concluding that deputies followed rules prohibiting racial profiling and unnecessary traffic stops.

“To the best of my knowledge, the protocol has been followed,” said Thomas, who issued a legal opinion on the sweeps yesterday.

“The reason I asked for the opinion two months ago is that we knew we were doing the right thing, and yet I wanted a legal opinion to let the people of this county know that we are also on the right track,” Arpaio said.

Thomas issued an opinion for Arpaio in 2005 in reference to Arizona’s human smuggling law—an opinion that said illegal aliens suspected of using transporting “coyotes,” can be charged as co-conspirators in their own smuggling cases, since they pay to be illegally brought into the U.S.

Prosecutor Thomas said his interpretation of the law has withstood scrutiny.

Read the newspaper account and try counting the provocative words and phrases in the short article. This would be a fine exercise for a Journalism 101 class. In the daily newspaper, however, it falls far short of ethical reporting standards.

5 Responses to County Attorney says sheriff’s patrols meet legal standards

  1. Joe Evans says:

    Andrew Thomas is a good man. I heard him speak recently and was very impressed by his calm resolve and decency. He and Sheriff Arpaio are doing exactly what they were elected to do–which is enforce the law and protect the citizens of Maricopa County.

    As to the Republic’s coverage, how right you are! It was stunning to read the language used in the article, although I should be long past being surprised at anything they write.

    Glad you guys called them out on this!

  2. Vince says:

    “High profile sweeps,” ” thinly veiled immigration patrols fraught with racial profiling,” “intrusion,” “overreaching,” “confront,” “crackdowns,” “raids“….Hmm?

    What makes you think the newspaper has an agenda?

  3. Jonathan says:

    I once saw a sign that I thought was mildly amusing:
    “My mother thinks I play the piano in a brothel. I couldn’t bear to have her think I am a reporter.”

    Now, I actually get it.

  4. RA says:

    I notice two things were specifically not mentioned – the first being that following the initial hullaballo from the mayor of Guadalupe, I seem to recall that no fewer than six other Valley mayors invited Arpaio to run sweeps in their communities. Second, there is no mention of the number of people arrested who had outstanding warrants – seems to me it’s been about a third of the people arrested with each sweep.

    I for one am glad we have both Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio in office.

  5. Thomas says:

    Ditto, RA. They are both doing exactly what I hoped they would do when I voted for them. I found the arrogant tone of the article very irritating.