Sheriff Arpaio Sends Armed Posse Into Black Churches — Whether They Want Them Or Not

Sheriff Arpaio, like the rest of the nation, has heard about the brutal murders in a South Carolina church this past week. Like many others, Arpaio feels a need to respond. However, unlike everyone else in America, Arpaio’s solution involves forcing his way into black churches with armed volunteers.

That’s right — in a press conference, the Sheriff announced that in order to better protect the minorities of Maricopa County, he would be gathering an armed force and sending them to 60 churches with minority congregations.

According to AZ Central, this comes at the request of Maricopa County’s Reverend Jarrett Maupin, but it won’t only apply to those churches that request it.

You can see the entire press conference here, at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department website.

It opens with Reverend Maupin speaking of his discussions with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He points out that black churches have, historically, been targets and says he asked Arpaio for help.

He goes on to mention police brutality and use a few classic buzzwords like “black-on-black-crime” before defining the areas in which he’s asked Arpaio to provide armed officers — he actually refers to Sheriff Arpaio’s “posse.”

When Sheriff Arpaio hits the podium, it only gets worse. His “posse” isn’t going to cost the taxpayers anything, he assures, because these are volunteers. That’s right — Sheriff Arpaio just assured the gathered crowd that black churches will be safer, because he’s sending armed men into them, but they aren’t paid officers on duty, but volunteers. He later notes that he may include some plainclothes detectives, and during the question-and-answer session, insists that the officers have been through “bias training” and are “probably better trained than most officers.”

One might think the Sheriff had enough legal trouble on his hands without harassing minorities in their churches, but it doesn’t stop him. Arpaio still hasn’t gone far enough, though — he has another shock for listeners. At least one church leader has already contacted him and said that his place of worship does not want Arpaio’s armed posse storming in. What does the Sheriff have to say in response to that?

“But I’ll tell you, he’s going to get them whether he likes them or not.”

That’s right — in the name of freedom and protection, Sheriff Arpaio just promised the citizens of Maricopa County that because a church in South Carolin invited a man with a gun in and treated him warmly, and had their kindness met with massacre, these Arizonians won’t be given the choice to invite or deny entrance to armed men.

Sheriff Arpaio’s posse begins gathering tonight, Father’s Day evening, at around 5 p.m., to enter area churches — whether or not they’re invited.

[Photo by: Joshua Lott/Getty Images]