Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, appeared on C-SPAN on July 19 when a caller referred to him as a "racist" (video below).
Carl, an African-American caller from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, told Arpaio how black people were filming police violence -- which he says has always existed -- on cellphones, notes Crooks And Liars:
Now, blacks have been mistreated ever since they've been in this country by the cops and what's happening is now they are catching it on cellphones. Black people have been complaining for centuries how they are being mistreated, but you all wouldn't believe it, especially a racist like you, Joe. You wanting to blame everything that black people say is a lie, but now we catching it on the cellphones, you still don't want to believe it.
The C-SPAN host asked Arpaio about the police abuse of black people.
"There's whites being mistreated, any type of that ethnic background," Arpaio said. "Why do we just say blacks? Sometimes cops mistreat other people too. Why are we not concerned with all of the people? Not just the African-American people."
The C-SPAN host asked Arpaio about the history of black people being abused by the police, but he refused to acknowledge it.
Instead, Arpaio talked about his own department, which he said had a minority employment of 35 percent.
"Look at the success of the African-American, ought to be proud of that," Arpaio added. "Whether its athletes or politics or what have you. So, they have made big strides."
Neither the caller or the host disparaged the success of black people, which was never the issue of the call.
Arpaio went on to warn against taking an "isolated incident" and making it a "big political situation."
Arpaio said he wasn't going to blame the media and added:
But sometimes the media are involved. They have to report. I'm not going to talk about copycats and all that, but in my 54 years I notice that when you have a lot of media attention, which you need the media, but some people see the media and then they go out and do some bad things because they see it on television, they see people talking, they see the president speaking, and some, especially if they're mentally imbalanced, do bad things.
Arpaio didn't say how the president's speeches could influence people to do bad things, but the Washington Examiner reports that Arpaio asserted on the same program: "I arrested a lot of people, but I never had the racial connotation. I never had any shootings, and that was a tough beat."
Arpaio was found guilty of three counts of civil contempt by a federal judge in May, which stems from a 2007 lawsuit against his office for the racial profiling of Latinos, reported the Phoenix New Times.
Arpaio also lamented that police can be legally filmed by citizens: "You go to the toilet, they film you. There's a war on cops, and unfortunately it's going to continue with the way things are going."