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Justice Department: Sheriff Arpaio Engaged in Systemic Racism Against Latin@s [PDF]

After three years of investigation, the Justice Department has finished it’s investigation of Joe “America’s Sheriff” Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO for short). It’s conclusion?

[The MCSO], through the actions of its deputies, supervisory staff, and command staff, 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, all in violation of [The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994]

Arpaio also personally “forwarded racially charged and derogatory emails about Latinos to his senior staff”. No one familiar with Joe Arpaio is surprised at this. He detains Latin@s until they produce their social security cards, while letting white drivers pass with just their driver’s license. He was found to be violating the constitutional rights of inmates (disproportionately latin@ of course) by “feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food, housing them in cells so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines in holding cells for days at a time”, and misused over $80 Million of taxpayer dollars on things like investigations into his political opponents. 

The Justice Department details how MCSO can come back into compliance with the law (a list of specific policy grievances to be addressed as well proactive measures, such as an internal affairs department- we’ll have to see how Sheriff Joe reacts. It’s unprecedented that someone in his position would refuse to comply, but then again it would not be the first time he broke precedent with his lack of cooperation with federal authorities.

Filed under arizona racism maricopa arpaio joe arpaio justice department