Joe Arpaio, Arizona Sheriff, Heckled At Americans For Prosperity Tea Party Event

Controversial Arizona Sheriff Heckled At Tea Party Event

Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff was heckled Saturday as he spoke at the "Choose Liberty 2012" event hosted by the Eastern Orlando Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity.

KSAZ-TV Phoenix reports that the hecklers started yelling and approaching the sheriff. According to the video, attendees restrained some of the hecklers and took them out of the room. Arpaio continued to speak after the hecklers were removed.

(Video of the event above from KSAZ-TV.)

Tickets for the event cost $45. Arpaio's office said the visit was also to help raise money for the group.

"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," said Arpaio after the event.

Arpaio's immigration enforcement has drawn national attention. He has ordered raids in predominately Latino neighborhoods, sweeping up undocumented immigrants for traffic violations and other offenses. He erected tents to house inmates, which have sometimes hit 145 degrees, brought back chain gangs, forced inmates to eat green bologna and to wear pink underwear and flip-flops. He is under investigation by a federal grand jury for abuse of power allegations.

Some Republican presidential candidates have courted Arpaio. Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) have met with him in person, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have talked with him on the phone. Arpaio endorsed Romney in 2008 but hasn't said who he will back in 2012.

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