Sheriff Arpaio facing lawsuit from immigration activist

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX - The next confrontation between Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and one of his loudest critics may be in a courtroom over a lawsuit.

The sheriff has been sued for false arrest by Salvador Reza, a local immigration activist.

Reza claims he is a member of a growing list of critics of Sheriff Arpaio who have found themselves arrested by the self described toughest sheriff in America. Reza's arrests coincided with SB 1070 becoming law in Arizona.

Reza was arrested first on July 29 outside the downtown Maricopa County Jail and the following day at a demonstration near the Durango jail in west Phoenix.

After the second arrest, Reza was charged with violating the terms of release from his first arrest, which prohibited him from initiating contact of any nature with arresting officers.

On advice of his lawyers, Sheriff Arpaio declined an on camera interview but in a statement he said,
“Reza, an immigration activist, made comments indicating that he wanted to be arrested. He was, and we stand by our actions regarding to those arrests.”
Reza said his arrests are part of a pattern where critics of Arpaio, from members of the Board of Supervisors to superior court judges, find themselves under investigation and may face the prospect of arrest.