About 3,000 people gathered the night of June 23 to protest Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail, also known as "tent city" because inmates are held outside under tents in searing heat. The protest was organized by a group of religious organizations who say Arpaio is targeting their members for arrest and harassment. They argue that conditions in the so-called tent city are worse than Guantanamo. They want Arpaio to close the tent city and improve jail conditions for inmates.
Arpaio says the jail is humane, and he gave the protesters a tour – media coverage was not allowed. After the tour, protesters said they still want Arpaio to make improvements. Periodic protests outside of tent city have been held since it was opened several years ago. Arpaio has come under close scrutiny by the federal government for his high profile raids on illegal immigration, treatment of prisoners and using law enforcement to target those who oppose him.