FRESNO (KPIX 5) — Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke to Republicans in Fresno on Friday evening. Both fans and protesters showed up to the event.
Convicted and pardoned Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio’s appearance before the Fresno County Republican Party attracted people who support and oppose him.
Arpaio has created controversy over the years for his treatment of jail inmates and undocumented people.
“I’m not a racist. I’ve never been found guilty of racial profiling regardless of what you see in the newspaper every day. So when they can’t get you for one thing they always have to throw the race card. They do that about our president too, anyway, got to go…” Arpaio said.
Art Duncan is anti-Arpaio. He said, “Joe Arpaio is a convicted criminal and Trump pardoned him, so I don’t think he should be raising money for the Republican Party.”
Ben Bergquam is pro-Arpaio. He said, “His number one job was protecting the Constitution and upholding the rule of law. He more so than anyone upheld defending the rule of law…”
Many Republican leaders in the Fresno area either declined invitations to the Friday night event or claimed they had scheduling conflicts — including the mayor of Fresno, the Fresno and Kings County Sheriffs — as well as Congressman David Valadao.