An online petition made hosted by Change.org is seeking action from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder against Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio for his treatment of 38 inmates who reportedly defaced the American flag.
Arpaio made it known that he had placed offending inmated on a bread and water diet as punishment for their actions. He alleges that the 38 had either torn the flags, written or stepped on them, or thrown them in the toilet or trash.
Although the defacing of the American flag isn't a crime in and of itself, Arpaio made his action against the inmates on the grounds that they were destroying government property.
The petition, started by Robert Anglin of Atlanta, Ga., claims that Arpaio is "blatantly violating" the 8th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Sheriff Arpaio has a long history of human rights violations. This is just the latest blip on the radar. He must be held accountable.
If the problem really is with people destroying government property (which is a legitimate concern), he needs to charge them with a crime and let the court determine their guilt and punishment. He is a sheriff - he is not judge, jury, & executioner. He must obey the Constitution and the Courts!
At 11:36 a.m. MDT on Saturday, the petition had 1,415 signatures.
It is addressed to Holder, Arizona District Attorney John Leonardo, Maricopa County Manager Tom Manos and Clerk of Marcicopa County Board of Supervisors Fran McCarroll.
The full letter:
To: Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States John Leonardo, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Tom Manos, Maricopa County Manager Fran McCarroll, Clerk of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is currently starving 38 inmates for 7 days because he believes they are unpatriotic. He claims that they desecrated the U.S. flags that he forcibly hung in their individual jail cells and that their bread-and-water-only punishment is for destroying government property.
If Sheriff Arpaio wants to hold these people accountable for destroying government property (which is a legitimate concern), he needs to charge them with a crime and let a competent court decide their fate. He is not judge, jury, & executioner.
He is blatantly violating the 8th & 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution as well as previous federal court orders by the Hon. Neil V. Wake and the unanimous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that he "shall provide food to pretrial detainees that meets or exceeds the United States Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines for Americans."
You have the authority and responsibility to investigate this matter and to reign in his incredible abuse of power. Starvation isn't merely cruel & unusual, it is torture.
Sincerely, [Your name]