Sheriff Joe's Newtown Response Will Terrorize Kids

Armed posses won't make students feel safe: Terry Greene Sterling

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 9, 2013 12:58 PM CST

(Newser) – Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-described "Toughest Sheriff in America," responded to the Connecticut school shooting with a new plan: Send volunteer "posses" with guns to patrol the areas around 50 schools in the Phoenix area. But this is an awful idea that will only result in lower school attendance and additional stress on students, writes Terry Greene Sterling in the Daily Beast. "Arpaio is seen by children as ‘El Cucuy’—the Boogey Man," explains a community group organizer, because he frequently uses these same "posses" to raid Latino neighborhoods and round up illegal immigrants.

Other advocates echo that idea, and say they fear the impact these new posses will have on Latino children—even those who are American citizens fear Arpaio "will take away their parents." One professor calls Arpaio's plan "a backdoor way to terrorize a community." Writes Greene Sterling, "Latching his posse onto a national controversy ... is a tried-and-true Arpaio technique that appears to have a clear purpose: generate worldwide press, secure more donations from loyal fans, and distract journalists and the public from ongoing allegations of civil-rights violations, wrongful deaths, mismanagement, and misspending." Click for Greene Sterling's full column.

In this May 10, 2012 file photo, a defiant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pounds his fist on the podium as he answers questions during a news conference in Phoenix.
In this May 10, 2012 file photo, a defiant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pounds his fist on the podium as he answers questions during a news conference in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
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