Tuesday night self-proclaimed "America's Toughest Sheriff" and Department of Justice-proclaimed civil rights violator Joe Arpaio was re-elected in Arizona as Maricopa County's sheriff. Arpaio has become a highly controversial figure, primarily for his policing, which was the subject of a DOJ investigation last year.
But Arpaio struck a different tone during his victory speech this week, saying he'd like to forge a better relationship with Arizona's Latino community, according to CNN.
I would hope to get together with the Latino community, if I could ever have them talk to me without screaming and threatening me. So I hope to get together with the community and try to explain what we do, so that's going to be one of my missions coming up.
So is Arpaio softening up? Absolutely not.
I will continue to enforce all the laws, including illegal immigration. Nothing changes.
Last December, The DOJ issued a report on Arpaio's department, concluding the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing." The DOJ's report also called MCSO's constitutional violations "systemic" and said, "Sheriff Arpaio's own actions have helped nurture MCSO's culture of bias."
Arpaio has defended himself, maintaing that he is only enforcing current immigration laws, both of which are on the federal and state levels.
So, Latinos, feel free to sit down with your newly re-elected sheriff, but please do not forget to bring you immigration papers along.
[Via CNN // Image via AP]