The world’s tiniest symphony plays for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is currently on trial for a contempt of court charge, following the Supreme Court’s decision to refuse his request to be tried by a jury.
Arpaio’s trial started on Monday after his lawyer’s attempt to have the case tried by a jury failed. Local news station KTAR reported that the lawyer believed he would fare better if the case was heard by a jury.
Nearly 10 years ago, when Arpaio was Sheriff of Pheonix, AZ, he rose to national notoriety for his ruthless war on immigrants. Instructing his deputies to perform what can only be described as racially profiling Latinos in the community, Arpaio ordered his officers to conduct traffic stops and identify undocumented immigrants to be deported.
Despite a federal judge’s decree that Arpaio could not detain people based on their immigration status in 2011, Arpaio’s officers continued patrols. Eventually, in 2013, another judge “stripped Arpaio of his immigration powers” after finding that his officers were racially profiling members of the community, according to the Associated Press.
Arpaio’s legal trouble began two weeks before the election when the Obama administration decided to prosecute Arpaio for ignoring the court’s original order to end the patrols.
The 85-year-old faces six months in prison for the misdemeanor charge if convicted—though a guilty verdict would be a symbolic victory for the countless number of immigrants Arpaio viciously targeted during his tenure.
Poor Joe’s legacy is really taking a tumble. Not only was Arpaio voted out of office in 2016 after six terms, his even more infamous and wildly inhumane “tent city” jail was immediately closed by his successor, Paul Penzone.