Nov 29 2010
Sheriff Joe Arpaio cranks up the volume on the Christmas carols, cranky prisoners be damned! Now if only we could send all the Gitmo terrorists to Joe’s jail.
Washington Times (H/T Tom) – Phoenix’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has survived six separate inmate lawsuits trying to stop him from playing Christmas music, will begin playing the tunes again this year – starting Monday with Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Feliz Navidad.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, to which Sheriff Arpaio was first elected in 1992 after a 25-year career at the U.S. DEA, has played the holiday songs all day, every day, during previous seasons. The latest inmate lawsuit was dismissed in federal court in December 2009.
“We keep winning these lawsuits. Inmates should stop acting like the Grinch who stole Christmas and give up wasting the court’s time with such frivolous assertions,” the press release read.
Inmates have sued six times claiming that being forced to listen to the Christmas songs 12 hours a day was in violation of their civil and religious rights and a cruel and unusual punishment, but U.S.
District Judge Rox Silver disagreed, dismissing the case and denying claims for $250,000 in damages.
The court issued a summary judgment saying it found no evidence of fact, so Sheriff Arpaio was entitled to the judgment as a matter of law. In upholding the decision, the court said the sheriff was free to “inject the holiday spirit into the lives of those incarcerated over the holiday season in the third-largest jail system in the US.”
Sheriff Arpaio has long expressed his fondness for Christmas music, especially”Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks, so it was with some glee last year that he announced in a red-and-green press release that the lawsuit had been dismissed and the music would begin.
CHIPMUNK’S Christmas Song (R-RATED version)
Sheriff Arpai has noted that his music selections have been multiethnic and culturally diverse, from all religions and ethnicities. He told The Washington Times that in addition to tunes by Alvin and the Chipmunks, the music included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Bing Crosby and Doctor Demento.
Sheriff Arpai catapulted to national attention when he cracked down on the thousands of illegal immigrants who swarm daily through his county; put inmates in pink jumpsuits and underwear; worked them in chain gangs; housed them in tents in the Arizona desert; and fed them bologna sandwiches.
The sheriff is no stranger to controversy, although his philosophy of “zero tolerance towards the criminal element” has been embraced by his deputies and the community alike.
Tired of waiting for the federal government to secure the US-MEXICO border and concerned about the potential terrorism threat that the lack of border security posed, he assigned deputies in 2006 to monitor his 9,226-square-mile county for illegal immigrants. He targeted the illegals under an anti-smuggling law that state lawmakers passed to fight drug trafficking.
“My message is clear: If you come here and I catch you, you’re going straight to jail,” he said at the time. “We’re going to arrest any illegal who violates this new law, and I’m not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I’ll give them a free ride to my jail.”