Church leaders to Sheriff Joe, "Thank you, but no thank you."

Controversy erupted today over whether Maricopa County sheriff's deputies and Posse Members should be patrolling black churches this Sunday in wake of the tragic shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Local activist, Jarrett Maupin, asked Sheriff Joe Arpaio to beef up security near churches, but today several pastors are speaking out against the move.

More than a dozen church leaders gathered today saying they don't trust Sheriff Arpaio because of his track record with Latinos. And they claim Arpaio and the Rev. Maupin are manipulating the South Carolina tragedy for media attention and political gain.

"There may be some people who think this is political, but it's to protect the people," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "That's my job."

It's this press conference that has many local black church leaders enraged.

Maupin asked the Sheriff this week to bring deputies to historically black churches throughout the valley for added protection.

At a press conference today, Rev. Reginald D Walton from Phillips Memorial CME church had this to say, "Sheriff Arpaio, here me well, "Thank you, but, no thank you." Reverend Maupin, here me well, you do not speak for the minds and the hearts of all Maricopa County."

At least a dozen church leaders said they don't want help from the Sheriff who is currently facing federal charges for allegedly racially profiling Latinos during traffic stops.
 
The church leaders also accuse the Sheriff and Maupin of exploiting the Charleston tragedy...

"To unite with the person who has a track record of racism, to unite with the person who has a track record of brutality, you wouldn't see MLK uniting with Bull Connor and that's what it feels like today."

"We are here to let you know [that] no one will bring fear into our churches and into our hearts because we serve a mighty god," said Pastor Gerald Richard.

In response, Maupin held his own press conference today alongside extended family members of Susie Jackson, one of the victims killed in the Charleston church shooting.

"No one could have anticipated what occurred in Charleston at Emmanuel AME church and no one can anticipate when and where the next incident will happen," said Reverend Jarrett Maupin.

"The killings in Charleston have proven that racists people with guns are dangerous and we do need police in streets and nearby [so that] everything that happened doesn't happen again and lives are safe" said Dion Alexander, the grand-nephew of one of the Charleston victims.

Maupin says more than 30 church leaders have asked for Sheriff Apraio's added patrols. We asked Maupin to send us a list of those churches, but as of this broadcast, we have not received that list.
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