San Francisco News

Arpaio gets cold shoulder in San Francisco

Friday, December 07, 2012

America's most controversial sheriff was in hostile territory Thursday night. Arizona's Joe Arpaio is in San Francisco as an invited guest, despite strong public sentiment against him. ABC7 News spoke with the sheriff who's made a name for himself by opposing illegal immigration.

The infamous Arpaio hit the town Thursday night, receiving a San Francisco-style welcome at John's Grill where the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there to meet him. Customers were shocked to see him.

"Kudos to San Francisco. The fact that we show the examples of what he should be following, which is embracing everyone," said San Francisco resident John Weber.

Arpaio has been the elected sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County for 20 years, best known for his aggressive stance on illegal immigration and the lawsuit filed against him by the U.S. Justice Department for racial profiling. He's in San Francisco to speak at the California Alarm Association Convention at the Parc 55 Hotel.

"Well I'm a little disappointed because from New Hampshire to California, every time I travel or give a speech, l have demonstrators. I don't see any here," said Arpaio.

Yet despite the lack of demonstrations, sentiment against Sheriff Arpaio's positions is strong in San Francisco, and that includes the opinions of students here at James Lick Middle School in Noe Valley.

The school recently mailed him letters, all written in Spanish, accusing him of racism and breaking up families. Arpaio wanted to meet those students face-to-face. He even scheduled something for Friday, but the school ultimately cancelled. The sheriff is disappointed.

"I can explain every one of those allegations and let them know it's not true and try to educate them that we should enforce the laws," said Arpaio.

School children aren't the only ones Arpaio won't be meeting during his stay. There are no plans to meet with District Attorney George Gascon either, who raised money for Arpaio's opponent in last month's election.

"I'd love to send him a message to come enjoy the city, spend your money here, and go back to re-think how you do police work," said Gascon.

There's little chance of that. Arpaio says most of America sides with him, and while he's 80 years old, he has no plans to slow down.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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immigration, san francisco news, lilian kim
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