Gardenia Jasmin's Blog Garden for the Mind

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gardenia jasmin

gardenia jasmin
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
May 28
I loved living in New York City way back in the early '70's. But I never had enough money to do concerts, theatre, restaurants, beaches -- why stay? In AZ there is less, but it's more accessible. We're pioneers here - we create it. Currently busy writing. Most recent novel is Rosie's Gold (, about personal trauma issues. On to the next, "Abuse of Power 101," about some of what ails us on account of our elected officials in arizona. Glad to have traveled on several continents and feel connections on many levels with folks on OS, from topics to places to foods to hopes and dreams.


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JULY 7, 2010 9:28PM

Making the Sheriff pay

Rate: 5 Flag

Yesterday seven plaintiffs  won a  settlement of almost $500,000 against our local sheriff, Joe Arpaio, for violating our clients' Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and the right to petition their government. Six were cuffed, jailed and brought to trial. At trial, all charges were dismissed, all defendants acquitted. One judge said the county attorney and sheriff's deputy "should be ashamed." We won civil damages for violation of their civil rights.

It's challenging to act professionally restrained and "dignified" when I feel such elation. Participating in this defense against injustice was hugely satisfying. A victory is rewarding to those innocent citizens who were unjustly harassed and even jailed.

Yet here in Maricopa County, a majority of voters think this sheriff is just terrific because he's "tough on crime" and does "sweeps" against "illegal aliens."

To my mind, your opinion on illegal immigration is irrelevant. What matters is that this public official has abused many citizens because of their political views. He has a cruel streak and boasts of pink underwear, green bologne, and "tent city" at 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember, this is treatment of pre-trial detainees who have not yet been convicted and of persons convicted of minor offenses with under one year sentence. The hard-core felons are not treated so badly.

Harsh, cruel treatment does not rehabilitate.

If just one person comes  to understand that violation of a citizen's basic Constitutional rights should not be tolerated, regardless of your views on immigration, maybe I've helped us become a healthier body politic.

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Thanks for keeping us informed on the real shenanigans of Arpaio. Sometimes I wonder of all the SB1070 is really doing is diverting us from the daily abuses of the police force on all residents, citizens or not.
What an excellent post. I'm glad you won your case. Sheriff Arpaio is a disgrace to law enforcement officers all over this country. When you break a person and take everything, even their pride, you are doing nothing but making them more prone to violence and breaking the law when they get out. If there is a such thing as Karma, he's going to catch hell when his time comes around!
He is a psycho, racist, and homophobe. I am glad you won. R-
Justice is a very sweet thing indeed....and being a part of it must be sweeter yet.
Welcome to OS, Gardenia! Overall we're a pretty cool bunch. Well, a few aren't, but..........

Anyway this is great news! When I first read about "your" sheriff, I decided I was glad I didn't live there. And I believe Scanner's right (he usually is, actually)--that sheriff IS a disgrace--to all of humankind! I just wish some of my evangelical Christian/right-wing/Republican "friends" could see that what he's doing is cruel and dehumanizing. And affects ALL of us, whether we live in AZ or not.

Good post. Hope to see more. I'm off to read the next one now. And I've added you to my fav's list so I'll know when you post again.

Rated. D