Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has “promoted a culture of bias” against Latinos in his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and communicated to officers that “biased policing would not only be tolerated, but encouraged,” according to a just-released report by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
DOJ investigators found during a three year probe that there was reasonable cause to believe that Arpaio, who fancies himself America’s Toughest Sheriff, and the Maricopa County’s Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) have engaged “in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing” and “engages in racial profiling of Latinos; unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos; and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain about or criticize MCSO’s policies or practices.”
This is the CIVIL investigation. The CRIMINAL investigation is ongoing. And this investigation was definitely delayed by Arpaio and his cronies.
Perez said he is hopeful that despite Arpaio’s lack of cooperation in the probe they can settle the civil matter without litigation. A separate criminal investigation of MCSO, being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, is ongoing.
“The stakes are high for the community, the stakes are high for MCSO,” Perez told reporters. “If we have to litigate, we’ll litigate. I’d much rather cooperate and solve the problem that way.”
In any halfway sane city or state, this thug would be GONE. Citizens of Maricopa County, you have a national embarrassment as your sheriff, and you have the power to relieve the rest of us. Make him go away. Please?