Sheriff Arpaio stops political endorsement to take on protesters
Reporter: Corinne Hautala
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Sheriff Joe Arpaio traveled to Tucson for a press conference that never happened. He stopped it to address protesters that showed up outside the courthouse.
Sheriff Arpaio was in Tucson to build support for Adam Kwasman. Kwasman, a Tucson native, is running for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 26.
Before the press conference was set to begin, KGUN 9 pulled Sheriff Arpaio aside to ask him about the future of illegal immigration.
Polls show growing support for moderate illegal immigration policies. In addition, illegal immigration hardliner, Russell Pearce, recently lost his senate seat in a recall.
“Senator Pearce was a good friend of mine,” said Sheriff Arpaio, “I supported him. He did a lot to pass the laws, but I'm the guy that enforces the laws.”
We asked Sheriff Arpaio if he was worried those laws were going to change with a more moderate senator replacing Pearce.
”That's why we need Adam to counteract that liberal type,” he said.
The interview was then interrupted by protesters chanting, ‘actions are illegal, not human beings.’
Sheriff Arpaio immediately responded to them.
“We have some demonstrators? They can only get 10? Was the gas too high around here?” asked Sheriff Arpaio.
The protesters were from Occupy Tucson and had walked over to the courthouse. Sheriff Arpaio didn’t waste much time, before going over to talk with them.
“Why are they after me? Why are you after me? Because, I lock up illegal immigrants?” he asked the demonstrators.
The debate between both sides continued across the street to the library, where the debate continued to be more attacks from both sides.
”You don't have the guts to take your mask off?” Sheriff Arpaio asked a protester, who responded, “I don't want to go to your prison and wear pink underwear.”
The press conference was cancelled. Instead, Sheriff Arpaio and Kwasman welcomed questions from the protesters.
For more information on the recent poll visit http://www.kgun9.com/news/local/133719573.html