The ACLU is driving a mobile billboard around Fresno with a sharp message for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio: “You violated the Constitution.”
Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is giving a speech Friday at a Republican fundraiser at Sunnyside Events in east Fresno. Activists are planning to protest Arpaio’s visit.
The ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU of Arizona – Maricopa County is in Arizona – said Thursday they had commissioned a mobile billboard with this message:
Civics Lesson for Joe Arpaio:
You violated the Constitution
It protects citizens & noncitizens alike
You can’t escape the truth
Arpaio authorized his deputies to detain people suspected of being undocumented immigrants, prompting the ACLU to file a lawsuit against him.
In July, a federal judge found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt for violating a court order prohibiting the sheriff’s department from detaining people based solely on suspected immigration violations.
President Donald Trump pardoned him before his sentencing. Arpaio lost his bid for re-election last year.
“No matter what the president does, the truth still holds,” said ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler. “Joe Arpaio disgracefully abused the community he was sworn to protect, and Maricopa County voters kicked him out of office, teaching him that no one is above the law.”
According to the ACLU, the mobile billboard will be driven along Shaw and Blackstone avenues and at Fresno State from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday and the Tower District from 5 to 8 p.m.
On Friday, the billboard will be driven along Shaw and Blackstone from noon to 3 p.m. and in the area of Kings Canyon Road and Clovis Avenue, near where Arpaio is scheduled to speak, from 3:30 to 8 p.m.