Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of contempt in 2017 and has a history of abuse of the Latino community, has announced that he will run to be reelected Sheriff in 2020.
“On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be re-elected Sheriff,” said Sheriff Arpaio in his statement. “Watch out world! We are back!”
Arpaio previously serves as the sheriff of Maricopa County in 2020 for 24 years, during which he abused his position of power to racially profile and abuse members of the Latino community, jailing his targets in a “tent city” that detainees said was more of a concentration camp.
“Thousands want me to run for Sheriff,” Arpaio claimed on Twitter.
Arpaio says that if re-elected he will reopen the Tent City jail and “and continue to enforce all Arizona laws that deal with drug trafficking, sex trafficking and other crimes associated with the border and illegal immigration.”
Detainees in Arpaio’s tent city faced excruciating heat and no running water. The only water available was from vending machines, which would run out, resulting in several medical emergencies and at least one fatality.
Arpaio was the focus of a 2008 Justice Department investigation that was looking into whether or not he was using racial profiling to detain Latinx people. After several years of investigation, the Justice Department found that Arpaio’s office used racist language, “unconstitutional policing”, and had a “pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” extending to the “highest levels of the agency.”
Even after a federal judge wrote to Arpaio warning him of the repercussions of discontinuing his practices of racial profiling, Arpaio didn’t make any changes. He was finally found guilty of contempt in July 2017 for failing to comply with court orders but received a presidential pardon from Trump two months later.
Arpaio’s legal troubles cost Maricopa County taxpayers millions of dollars.
In 2016 Arpaio attempted to run for reelection in 2016 but lost to Democrat Paul Penzone. Last year Arpaio attempted to run for the U.S. Senate but came in third.