"Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that a total of 38 inmates are currently on bread and water for desecrating the American flag that is emblazoned in each jail cell throughout the six jails under his control . . . . 'It’s a disgrace to those who have fought for our county' said Arpaio. 'Besides this is government property that they are destroying, and we will take action against those who act this way.'" - Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff's Office News Release dated January 23, 2014
And for how long is the man the New York Times has called "America's Worst Sheriff" since 2008 planning to starve these 38 men? Seven days! Imagine how you would feel if you were given only bread and water twice a day for an entire week.
Sheriff Arpaio has come under fire in the past from the federal courts for serving rotten fruit & moldy bread to the inmates under his "care".
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Policy DG-1 and Policy DG-2 require that inmates be provided two or more meals during each 24-hour period, sufficient to provide a minimum of 2900 calories daily, and the interval between the evening and morning meals not exceed fourteen hours.
In 2008, the Hon. Neil V. Wake, United States District Judge for Arizona, wrote: "The Eighth Amendment requires that pretrial detainees be provided food that is adequate to maintain the pretrial detainees’ health and that is prepared under conditions that do not threaten their health and well being. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the taste and appearance of food provided to pretrial detainees not constitute punishment . . . ."
Judge Wake ordered that Sheriff Arpaio "shall provide food to pretrial detainees that meets or exceeds the United States Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans." This order was unanimously upheld in 2010 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sheriff Arpaio has a long history of human rights violations. This is just the latest blip on the radar. He must be held accountable.
If the problem really is with people destroying government property (which is a legitimate concern), he needs to charge them with a crime and let the court determine their guilt and punishment. He is a sheriff - he is not judge, jury, & executioner. He must obey the Constitution and the Courts!
Please sign this petition to the United States Department of Justice and Maricopa County Arizona government urging them to do the right thing by preventing Joe Arpaio from continuing to torture other human beings through starvation.