Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that it’s a “sad day for America” when he’s accused of discrimination.
Arpaio held a press conference Thursday to address a Justice Department report that accuses him and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of discriminatory policies. He called the report a “witch hunt” and said that it was an effort by the government to put the department out of the illegal immigration enforcement business. It’s a “sad day for America,” Arpaio said.
JJ Hensley of the Arizona Republic reported via Twitter that Arpaio said: “President Obama and a band off [sic] his merry men, might as well erect their own pink neon sign at border saying welcome all illegals.”
Arpaio and his attorney also denied the DOJ’s claim that the MCSO impeded the investigation or did not respond to the allegations, arguing that they had just received the report Thursday.
Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre of the MCSO said that “this is targeted strictly by the Obama administration for votes in 2010, that’s the only purpose for it,” according to Hensley.
William Pitts of 12 News in Phoenix, who was also tweeting from the press conference, reported that Arpaio also compared the situation to Pearl Harbor.
Arpaio said that the MCSO plans to cooperate, and if the DOJ isn’t happy he’ll be happy to meet them in court.