An interview with Sheriff Arpaio

Never mind Arizona – he’s known as the toughest cop in the world. The Editor-in-Chief went to meet him

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The Independent Online

The below is an extract from a feature that accompanied this interview, appearing in the December 2012 issue of GQ.

In the run-up to the American election, amid the semi-but-most-definitely-not-fully-nude statues that populated the foyer of the family-friendly Athena restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, a respectful hush had fallen over the crowd of pensioners gathered to meet their hero.

The occasion was a fundraiser for a candidate who was fighting to be the district's top lawman. The location - a faux-Greek taverna off Highway 101 in the predominantly white and middle-class district of Scottsdale. Knowing who was on the guest list, there were two likely reasons for the sudden quiet. The first was the arrival of a movie star, one of the hardmen who - on the silver screen at least - karate-kicks the free world's enemies into submission. The second was an 80-year-old man with a swinging gut and a nose laced with burst capillaries who might be about to grace us with his presence...

You can read the interview in full on