Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tent City, It's Dark and Hell is Hot

Yesterday former rapper, DMX, previously known as Earl Simmons, was arrested at his home in Arizona on animal cruelty and drug charges. Booked by the Maricopa County, Sheriff's Office, DMX could not have chosen a worse jurisdiction than Maricopa. Ruled by the iron fist of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa's Sheriff's Office is known as the toughest in the U.S. Dismayed by the number of releases due to bed shortages, Sheriff Arpaio erected "Tent City," where overflow inmates would be housed under the Arizona sun. Many laud his efforts to pull no punches in the fight against crime, while others accuse him of grandstanding, and abuse of power.

As expected, Sheriff Joe takes a hard line on immigration debate. With some creative law interpretation, he and the Arizona State Attorney's Office have begun enforcing state and federal immigration laws strictly. Many see this as a blatant overstepping of police bounds; using county officers to enforce federal laws goes to the heart of federal system. Lou Dobbs and CNN praise him for his 500+ arrests as making a difference. Hardly a drop in the bucket, Sheriff Joe seems to be more Desert Napoleon, and less of a crusader against crime. Moreover, he has come under controversy for making inmates wear pick underwear, re-instituting the chain gang, and being the source of numerous lawsuits for his tough tactics. You'd think an ex-felon, and general rabble rouser like DMX, would avoid Maricopa when settling down to a lifetime of Xanax bars and blunts. I have a hunch he's not much into research; as of March, 2008, he'd never heard of Barack Obama.