Sheriff emerges as spokesman on political climate - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff emerges as spokesman on political climate

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona sheriff helping to lead the investigation into the shooting rampage in Tucson has been thrust into the national political debate over his candid remarks about the shooting.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik on Saturday blamed the rampage in part on extreme political rhetoric, bigotry and hatred, especially in his home state of Arizona.

Dupnik tells The Associated Press on Monday he was angry and heartbroken over the tragedy, and was simply speaking his mind as an American, not as a law enforcement official.

Some Republicans have said his remarks were irresponsible in light of the tragedy.

Friends and authorities said 22-year-old suspect Jared Loughner had radical and bizarre political views, but his motivation still isn't clear.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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