I did it, I stand by it, and I’m not going to change.
— Joe Arpaio
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 was like any other Wednesday in the computer building, a nerve center for a large governmental organization. The work was routine and unspectacular, but the data maintained by the center was important and, in some cases, confidential. Without warning, the raid started. Uniformed individuals stormed the building and seized control. Employees were ordered to leave their work stations while uniformed men and women confiscated their computers. The raiders compelled computer operators to give up their passwords before they escorted staff from the premises. Then they locked up the computer rooms, completing their militaristic take-over.
The armed raid was not in Venezuela, Cuba, or an Asian dictatorship. The location was Maricopa County’s Computer Center and the raiders were uniformed personnel from the Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.