Birther sheriff heckled at Orlando tea party gathering (Updated)
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona — known for his controversial immigration enforcement measures and his birther conspiracy theories — was heckled Saturday as he spoke at “Choose Liberty,” an event organized by the Eastern Orlando Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity.
A Phoenix Fox TV station reported that, ”while delivering remarks — some hecklers tried to steal the spotlight by yelling and moving toward the sheriff.”
The Fox affiliate quotes Arpaio as saying: “I’ve been cracking down on illegal immigration for the last three years, which I now have the Justice Department investigating me, ACLU — everybody’s taking shots at me because of my fight against illegal immigration. And I’m going to continue to do it until the problem is resolved.”
A 2009 Time magazine article points out that Arpaio “has faced numerous complaints from Amnesty International, the ACLU and other rights groups. His office is being investigated by the Justice Department for alleged discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures.”
Arpaio recently called on President Obama to release his birth certificate microfiche. According to right-wing site World Net Daily, “While the top Republican candidates refuse to touch the issue of Barack Obama’s eligibility, at least four are eagerly seeking the endorsement” of Arpaio.
The site adds that Arpaio told Choose Liberty participants on Saturday “that his ‘Cold Case Posse‘ probe examining the president’s qualification for his state’s 2012 ballot is in full swing.”
Americans for Prosperity, which helped organize Choose Liberty, “is an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state, and federal levels.” The group has received millions of dollars from the controversial Koch brothers.
Watch coverage of the event:
Watch more video of the scuffle here.
Video embedded here: