Joe Arpaio stared down protesters at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday as they chided the controversial county sheriff from Arizona about illegal immigration.
According to KTAR-TV
, Arpaio, who has drawn praise from border protection advocates but criticism from some in the Latino community during his time as Maricopa County sheriff, was surrounded by Indiana State Police as he walked toward Quicken Loans Arena.
Protesters and supporters could be heard as Arpaio made his journey to the area. Some could be heard saying, "Shame on you, Sheriff Joe." At least one supporter could be heard on a video tweeted by NBC correspondent Jason Rascon of NBC News saying, "You're my hero, brother."
"Why are you picking on me?" Arpaio said at one point. "I can't even walk down the street around here."
One female protester continued her pursuit of Arpaio as he walked.
"Well, we'll be around you wherever you go because you're such a disgrace," the woman said in the middle of the tight crowd.
That's when Arpaio stopped and addressed the woman, asking her: "Are you threatening me? Are you threatening a sheriff?"
"I don't threaten anybody," the woman said, according to the posted video. "I'm a peaceful person."
Before making his way past the woman, Arpaio responded, "Every time you blast me, my polls go higher and higher, so please keep it up."
According to KJZZ-FM
, Arpaio, who was an early supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, expressed concern about safety at the Republican National Convention.
"I'm a little concerned because we've had assassinations before," Arpaio said Monday, according to KJZZ-FM. "Jack Kennedy — and I could on and on [sic]. Right now, we have cops being killed. We're in a tough mood right now."
Arpaio added that he ultimately believed that there will be enough security to keep protesters and Trump safe in Cleveland.
Arpaio, who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff," has led the Maricopa County sheriff's office for more than 20 years and has drawn vocal supporters and detractors for his fight against illegal immigration and crime, noted The Arizona Republic
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