Originally published: January 9, 2011
Last updated: January 10, 2011 - 8:54am
In an emotional press conference, Pima County (AZ) Sheriff Clarence Dupnik suggested to a national audience that radio and TV vitriol could have been a factor in the killing spree in Arizona Saturday that left a congresswoman gravely injured, a federal judge and five others dead, and more than a dozen more wounded.
He spoke of "all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech," Sheriff Dupnik said, but that vitriol and political rhetoric "is not without consequence." Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) had her office windows broken after her vote in March in favor of healthcare reform. At press time doctors were optimistic she would survive, despite being shot in the head at close range. Sheriff Dupnik, who identified himself as a friend of the murdered judge as well as Giffords', said unbalanced people respond to such vitriol, and that Arizona had become a mecca for prejudice and bigotry. When asked by a reporter how they know that was a cause, he conceded: "You don't."
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