Exclusive — Sheriff Arpaio: Protecting Black Churches Is About Public Safety, Not Politics

AWR Hawkins

On Sunday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent members of his armed posse “to patrol 40 or 50 black churches” in the Phoenix area as a way of ensuring public safety and letting any would-be Charleston copy-cat attackers know that people weren’t sitting in those churches defenselessly.

Sheriff Arpaio did the same for Phoenix area schools in the wake of the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.

On Monday, Breitbart News spoke to Sheriff Arpaio about protecting the black churches. He said he was approached by Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a leader in the black community, who was worried that black churches might be in danger.

Sheriff Arpaio said: “He asked for my help. He said the churches could be in danger and he asked if we could go out and patrol them, which we did. On Sunday I sent out my volunteer posse to patrol the churches.”

He said the move “caused a lot of controversy” and that he took criticism from Hispanics who wondered why black churches would want Sheriff Arpaio around.

But Sheriff Arpaio responded by saying, “I’m going to do it. Public safety is more important than politics.”

“The Reverend asked me to come out there, and we did. Everything went great. even many of the people in the churches came out and thanked our volunteer posse for being there, but you will never see that on the television news coverage,” he added. “So this became a national story, but I am going to do it again, if need be, next Sunday, if they want me.”

Sheriff Arpaio then reflected on sending out his posse in a similar fashion after the Sandy Hook attack, and said, “I have history of protecting the people in situations like this.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.