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Dec 21 2011

DOJ: Arpaio Engages in Racist Policing

In what has to be the least surprising news you will hear this week, the DOJ has concluded after a long investigation that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has engaged in systematic discrimination against Latino residents of his county. In related news, pain hurts.

After an investigation that lasted more than three years, the civil rights division of the Justice Department said in a 22-page report that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which Mr. Arpaio leads, had “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.” The department interfered with the inquiry, the government said, prompting a lawsuit that eventually led Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies to cooperate.

“We have peeled the onion to its core,” said Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, noting during a conference call with reporters on Thursday morning that more than 400 inmates, deputies and others had been interviewed as part of the review, including Sheriff Arpaio and his command staff. Mr. Perez said the inquiry, which included jail visits and reviews of thousands of pages of internal documents, raised the question of whether Latinos were receiving “second-class policing services” in Maricopa County.

Mr. Perez said he hoped Sheriff Arpaio would cooperate with the federal government in turning the department around. Should he refuse to enter into a court-approved settlement agreement, Mr. Perez said, the government will file a lawsuit and the department could lose millions of dollars in federal money.

A separate federal grand jury investigation of Sheriff Arpaio’s office is continuing, focusing on accusations of abuse of power by the department’s public corruption squad.

Arpaio is a literal, not figurative, fascist. He should be removed from office immediately.

31 comments

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  1. 1
    Doug Little

    After an investigation that lasted more than three years

    Damn those bureaucratic wheels turn slowly.

  2. 2
    Gregory in Seattle

    He should be removed from office immediately, but my money is on him getting reelected.

  3. 3
    chilidog99

    But wait, we can’t kick him out untill AFTER he releases the result of his “Cold Case Posse” invstigation of the Obama Birth Certificate!

    LOL LOL LOL

    It’s a good thing Rick Perry alredy secured his endorsement.

  4. 4
    Aquaria

    Damn those bureaucratic wheels turn slowly.

    Especially when a racist idiot gums up the works with his whining and grandstanding.

  5. 5
    Stacey C.

    Ugh, I remember years ago seeing him on TV gloating about how he was making inmates not only live in tent cities but also making them wear pink. It hit so many buttons for me I almost popped a vein. He is a vile, racist, scumbag who should be doing time himself.

  6. 6
    D. C. Sessions

    The most remarkable thing about this whole case is that Joe didn’t arrest the judge who ruled that he had to cooperate with the investigation.

    The second most remarkable thing is that this whole partisan witch hunt started under the Bush Administration.

  7. 7
    carolw

    I just read on SFGate that a veteran with mental problems who was beaten by Arpaio’s thugs is now brain-dead, and his family is flying in to say goodbye before they unplug him. Disgusting and sad. Arpaio is a vile piece of racist filth who shouldn’t be allowed to pick up trash.

  8. 8
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    and the department could lose millions of dollars in federal money.

    It gets millions in fedgov money in the first place? WTF?

  9. 9
    TX_secular

    Remember, these are the same people who gave us SB 1070 and wondered what could possibly go wrong at the enforcement level. Arizona, my home state, shame on you.

  10. 10
    holytape

    F,

    Maricopa County isn’t a small county. It has +3.3 million people. So it’s not like this backwoods redneck is screw around with a few hundred or so citizens. Hundreds of thousands, if not a million people have this man as their chief law enforcement officer.

  11. 11
    D. C. Sessions

    3.8 million, actually, and Arpaio has jurisdiction all through it. The cities (including Phoenix, fifth largest in the USA) exercise jurisdiction in their own boundaries but the MCSO can also operate in them. This has, as you might imagine, not made Sheriff Joe and his merry band terribly popular with the Phoenix PD (a pretty good bunch) or Mesa PD (let’s not say much about their training or professionalism) as well as the smaller ones in the county.

  12. 12
    reverendrodney

    He has already cost the county several million dollars in wrongful death lawsuits yet the people of Maricopa County reelected him. Now there’s another (see CarolW @7, above).

    But that he failed to investigate alleged incidents of child molestation should, in my opinion, disqualify him as a law enforcement officer. The man is scum.

  13. 13
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    >But that he failed to investigate alleged incidents of child molestation should, in my opinion, disqualify him as a law enforcement officer. The man is scum.<

    I agree 100% percent. It boggles the mind that some people feel law abiding atheists are a threat to society when a racist piece of excrement like this sheriff has continuously violated many laws.

    Tony

  14. 14
    coffeehound

    Aquaria,

    Especially when a racist idiot gums up the works with his whining and grandstanding.

    17 months of ignoring federal requests for PUBLIC records.
    Why the man wasn’t dragged before a judge for this alone is a mystery to me.

  15. 15
    coffeehound

    DCS,

    This has, as you might imagine, not made Sheriff Joe and his merry band terribly popular with the Phoenix PD (a pretty good bunch) or Mesa PD (let’s not say much about their training or professionalism) as well as the smaller ones in the county.

    This is spot on.

  16. 16
    Area Man

    He has already cost the county several million dollars in wrongful death lawsuits yet the people of Maricopa County reelected him. Now there’s another (see CarolW @7, above).

    But that he failed to investigate alleged incidents of child molestation should, in my opinion, disqualify him as a law enforcement officer.

    The funny thing is, he’s an almost perfect inversion of

  17. 17
    Area Man

    Oy. I hit something that caused a premature post. Redo:

    He has already cost the county several million dollars in wrongful death lawsuits yet the people of Maricopa County reelected him. Now there’s another (see CarolW @7, above).

    But that he failed to investigate alleged incidents of child molestation should, in my opinion, disqualify him as a law enforcement officer.

    The funny thing is, he’s an almost perfect inversion of a competent public servant. Not only has his “America’s toughest sheriff” schtick resulted in abuses of power, mistreatment of detainees, and civil rights violations, it hasn’t even succeeded in its own terms. Entire categories of crime are going uninvestigated, and his “austerity” program for the county jail is costing the county millions. He is quite possibly The Worst Politician Imaginable, at least within the confines of a constitutional democracy.

  18. 18
    Trebuchet

    No worries, I’m sure he’ll be leaving the office in about a year when president-elect Perry appoints him director of the FBI, or something. Meanwhile, I’ll be shopping for property on the other side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in Victoria BC!

  19. 19
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I’m a foreigner, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Arpaio a Latino name?

  20. 20
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    @Alethea H. Claw — I dunno, but that would be some truly delicious irony!

  21. 21
    dingojack

    A quick glance at an online dictionary gave me:
    ‘vosotros arpáis’ – you play the harp, and the idiomatic phrase ‘
    MODISMOS tocar el arpa’ – to be a thief, or to live by thieving. Which certainly suggests a degree of nomlative determinism. :)
    Dingo
    —–
    That killjoy, Wikipedia, notes:
    “Arpaio was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Italian parents both from Avellino, Italy.[8] Arpaio’s mother died while giving birth to him, and Arpaio was raised by his father, a grocery store owner.”

  22. 22
    puppygod

    “Removed from office”? He should be removed from society. As in “serving long term in federal prison”. This guy is a part of answer to the question “what is wrong with America”. His actions are criminal. And if they aren’t – I have only passing knowledge of US law – then they should be. Aren’t his actions basically perverting the course of justice?

  23. 23
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Italian, Spanish, what’s the difference, they’re all wogs anyway. /Australian-style racism.

  24. 24
    dingojack

    Oops, I got a little loose with the cut ‘n paste. I meant ‘tocar el arpa’, of course.
    Dingo

  25. 25
    dingojack

    Alethea H. Claw –

    VIETNAMESE CLEANER [Anh Do]: You. Me. You and me. Me and you, we are the same.
    [The GREEK CLEANER considers this for a long moment, (could there be a glimmer of migrant solidarity?) and then-]
    GREEK CLEANER [Nick Giannopoulos]: Naah – you’re a wog!
    {The GREEK CLEANER beams from ear-to-ear, suddenly realising she’s now one of the ‘in-group’.]

    :) Dingo

  26. 26
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    @ 10, 11

    I know it is fairly large. But my brain says, “And”? Especially when the right is all “fed money noes!”.

  27. 27
    Stacey C.

    @ dingojack

    Arpaio was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Italian parents both from Avellino, Italy.

    As someone from Massachusetts I apologize on behalf of our state. UGH. He’s not someone I want on a list of famous people from Massachusetts!!

  28. 28
    Tualha

    Actually, no. It’s not the least surprising news I’ve heard this week, because I heard it last week. Was wondering if you were ever going to cover it.

  29. 29
    carolw

    I put the wrong source for the story. It was actually on TPMMuckraker. The news today is that the young man has died, so the sheriff has more blood on his hands.

  30. 30
    Area Man

    Arpaio was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Italian parents both from Avellino, Italy.

    ANCHOR BABY.

  31. 31
    dingojack

    Avellino was the birthplace of (the fictional) Conrado Soprano Sr, grandfather of Tony Soprano.
    Coincidence? I think not!
    :) Dingo

  1. 32
    Seguridad informatica para empresas

    Seguridad informatica para empresas…

    [...]DOJ: Arpaio Engages in Racist Policing | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

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