Nearly twenty years ago, the courts told Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that the county jails were overcrowded and that he needed to start releasing prisoners early. Sheriff Joe, said that a person needs to do the time they have been sentenced to and refused to release them early. Again, the courts told him he had to reduce the jail population.
Sticking to his guns, Sheriff Joe purchased a number of military tents and erected them on jail grounds. After making sure the tents were secure, he ordered enough prisoners moved to what became known as tent city in order to reduce the jail population and appease the court order.
At first, a number of people thought that housing inmates in tents erected on asphalt in the hot desert sun was inhumane, and some even challenged the legality of it in court. However, Sheriff Joe prevailed by pointing out that a number of US military, especially those serving abroad in places like the Middle East, are housed in the exact same tents and if it is good enough for our service men and women, then it should be more than good enough for inmates.
I know this all took place around twenty years ago because it was several years before I moved away from Maricopa County, Arizona, and I’ve been gone now for almost sixteen years.
So why all of a sudden is there a huge protest against Sheriff Joe’s tent city nearly twenty years after it went into effect?
This past Saturday, several thousand people assembled just outside of tent city to protest what they believe to be inhumane conditions. Spurred in part by the Unitarian Universalist Association, which is headquartered in Boston, the protest was aimed at not only the conditions of tent city, but also at the immigration policies of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department. The UUA is a very liberal organization that fully supports many of the policies of the Democratic Party.
And it just so happens that the department’s immigration policies have become the target of the Obama administration ever since Sheriff Joe launched his Cold Case Posse investigation into Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Shortly after announcing the investigation, US Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama’s legal puppet, launched their attacks on the Sheriff’s Department with the obvious intent to destroy Sheriff Joe before he can prove to the nation that Obama is not legally eligible to be President of the United States.
There have been reports of Obama campaigners and supporters working behind the scenes in many of the Occupy protests that have taken place. I would not be surprised if Obama campaign workers and/or supporters were really the ones behind the protest of Sheriff Joe’s tent city in an effort to bring more pressure on him and more attention to their case against him.