AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio needs no introduction, his bigotry and illegal activity has been well documented. The latest outrage on his watch comes at the hands of one of his deputies, who forced a woman to give birth while cuffed at the wrists and ankles, then ordered the baby taken from the mother:
The bleeding kept her up all night, drenching her black-and-white-striped jail uniform.
Alma Chacón feared her baby would arrive early. Her nightmare had started with a traffic stop a day earlier. She'd been weeping since. "What if the baby is born here, in the jail?" she thought.
In the afternoon, she was shackled and transported to Maricopa County Medical Center, where she gave birth in a "forensic restraint." She couldn't hold her baby daughter or kiss her. She could only watch as hospital personnel carried the infant out the door. She wouldn't see the baby for 72 days.
Her case raises questions about the use of racial profiling by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies during traffic stops, but, most importantly, sheds light on the mistreatment of unconvicted immigrants inside county jails. Read on...
Chacon did have two warrants for her arrest, but this sort of barbaric treatment goes beyond the pale. The officer claimed he had no choice, but it does raise some serious red flags. Somehow I doubt he truly thought Chacon was a flight risk, or capable of doing serious harm to hospital staff in the middle of giving birth. There is an online petition to remove Sheriff Arpaio, you can view it and sign it here.
Denigrating women isn't new to Arpaio. He has made no secret of his disdain for women and their reproductive rights.