Sheriff Arpaio asserts that, as always, he and his deputies only stop people in the normal course of their duties – if they don’t have a license, doesn’t speak english, or have guys stashed in the back of a van. He makes his strongest point when he says that the Obama administration has been investigating him for well over a year and they’ve found no wrong doing.
But none of this is good enough for Geraldo, as he jabs back at Arpaio by suggesting to Congressman Balart of Florida that if he were in Phoenix, Sheriff Arpaio would likely stop him because he looks latino. Note the sheriff’s non-verbal response:
UPDATE: To address the idea that this law allows law enforcement to stop people based on their race, here’s the exact legislation concerning that part:
1373(c). A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELY CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION. A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.
So basically, if race, color, or national origin is their only criteria for stopping someone, they can’t do it. They must have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ outside of this to stop and question someone of their citizenship status.