"Give a man enough rope, and he will hang himself." - From Story of Haman in the Book of Esther
Arizona's Senator Catherine Miranda will be introducing anti-racial profiling legislation when session begins at the Capitol in January. After listening to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's No. 2 man via Chief Deputy Sheridan, I am convinced that laws are needed to protect our Civil Rights. I heard with my own ears how Sheridan (by his own confession) dropped the ball numerous times with regard to Civil Rights issues and important preliminary injuction Court Orders.
From the LOU SHOW, a member of the Jewish Chicano Coalition:
Jerry Sheridan, MCSO Chief Deputy, has been Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s right-hand man since May of 2011 when Arpaio fired David Hendershott for abusing his power. Today in Judge Murray Snow’s courtroom, Sheridan failed miserably to answer questions by Cecillia Wang, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.
In what could only be viewed as an echo from the Watergate hearings that eventually led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon, Sheridan’s repeated answer to Wang’s inquiries regarding receiving emails from then-Arpaio attorney Tim Casey was “I do not recall”. Casey had Sheridan and other upper-level MCSO deputies about the importance of addressing the allegations of the Melendres v. Arpaio civil rights case, but Sheridan simply did not remember getting those emails and even opening such emails. One of the emails proved a meeting was held at Sheridan’s own office, yet he continued to deny such obvious proof.
At one point, Sheridan admitted that the responsibilities of someone in his position included staying informed of any cases that directly affected the procedures of his enforcement agency and that he had failed at doing so.
As MCSO Chief Deputy, Sheridan also explained that it was his responsibility to review all cases referred to the Internal Affairs Division with regards to addressing any allegations of misconduct by deputies, that it was he who decided the validity of those allegations and that the decision to criminally prosecute misconduct was also his. Sheridan revealed that he also was responsible for the oversight of any grievance appeals filed by officers who had been found guilty of misconduct and subsequently disciplined. However, when Wang questioned Sheridan on how many officers had been disciplined, he could not recall.
Sheridan also appeared unconcerned that deputies have been discovered in possession of “trinkets” taken during arrests, that law enforcement officers under his command might have, essentially, stolen property during arrests. In his testimony, Sheridan appeared unconcerned that his officers engaged in such thievery.
On May 8, 2014, MCSO Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz was found dead, hanged in his home. A search of this rogue deputy’s home unearthed an stash of personal property, including hundred items of evidence, license plates, credit cards, driver's licenses and torn-up citations. This begs questions of the overall integrity of MCSO Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan on his lack of knowing what one of his deputies was up to before the apparent suicide of Ramon Armendariz. Would Sheridan simply consider all the items found in Armendariz home as mere “trinkets”?
Sheridan was also asked about his attendance as a January 31, 2012, meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, for which Sheridan said he did not recall anything about. This was a meeting where Sheridan and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery attempted to field answers to the charges of how the MSCO dropped the ball on investigating numerous sex abuse cases. In court, Sheridan said he did not remember anything at all about that BOS meeting, adding that he was probably more concerned at the time with the civil rights case Melendrez vs. Arpaio. However, when Sheridan was asked in court about the various emails then-Arpaio attorney Tim Casey sent to Sheridan and others about the Melendez case, Sheridan said he did not recall a thing!
Repeatedly answering with “I do not recall” is straight out of the playbook of the Watergate Hearings in which members of Nixon’s cabinet feigned out of answering any questions about the break-in at the Democratic Party Headquarters of the Watergate Hotel in 1972.
Is Sheridan now simply the fall guy for Joe Arpaio? As the Chief Deputy of the MSCO, shouldn’t Sheridan be held accountable for at least being aware of cases that could hold the MSCO liable? When is Judge Murry Snow going to realize and act upon the allegations that Sheridan has acted irresponsible to “play dumb”, that Sheridan was duly informed of the Melendez case and also of the failure of the MSCO to investigate hundreds of sex crimes . . . and that he, Sheridan, is actively engaging in a campaign to act as though he did not know things any better?
Racial profiling is illegal and it violates the U.S. Constitution’s assurance of equal protection under the law to all and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Racial profiling is ineffective and costs tax payers millions of dollars in wasteful spending and it alienates communities from law enforcement and it prevents healthy policing efforts and trust. Moreover, the State of Arizona has had to build back up from our economic setback after a boycott of our State was initiated once the former Governor Jan Brewer signed the restricionist / isolationist SB 1070 law that was bad for business and the labor sector.
Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda writes:
"The law is the law. But I disagree. We don't have to live with it. That's why I chose to be an elected official so we don't have to live with the ridiculous racists laws my colleagues that are in control make. I'm there to fight against those laws. We will continue to fight in peace. But I'm wondering how much more peace will there be left. Kids are tired of their parents being targeted. Remember this law will attack our citizens too. Can you as a citizen live with being targeted? Because you will be."