Thomas M. Hodgson, the Bristol County, Massachusetts sheriff who organized a sparsely attended anti-immigrant rally at the U.S. Capitol last year, defended Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a radio interview today, saying racial profiling charges against Arpaio are part of the Obama administration’s attempt to vilify “the people who are coming forward and telling the truth to the American people.”
Hodgson joined American Family Association official Sandy Rios on her radio program this morning, where he alleged that the case against Arpaio is just an attempt to distract Americans from Obama administration “scandals.”
“It’s a trend we’ve seen, actually, from this administration with regards to all law enforcement,” he said. “It seems that the people that are doing their job, who are standing up for what’s right are vilified, they’re attacked. We’ve seen it with the IRS scandal, we’ve seen it with all kinds of scandals where the administration was sort of trying to direct attention away from what they were doing and vilifying the people who were coming forward and telling the truth to the American people.”
A Justice Department investigation has found “a pattern or practice of unlawful discriminatory police conduct directed at Latinos in Maricopa County” under Arpaio’s leadership.
Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” admitted in March to violating a court order “by continuing to allow sheriff’s deputies to make traffic stops based on suspicions about individuals’ immigration status.” He offered to apologize and asked county officials to create a $350,000 fund meant to compensate those he harmed.