WASHINGTON - Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers announced he will conduct a hearing in April to examine the conduct of Sheriff Joe Arpaio for civil rights abuses. The investigation will include accusations of Racial Profiling. Local Mayors, officials and citizens charged Arpaio and his volunteer (masked) deputies racially profiled Latinos when they conducted sweeps of Latino neighborhoods in the Phoenix area looking for illegal immigrants. Conyers said the hearing will also examine other possible abuses of the 287(g) program that allows local police departments to enforce federal immigration laws.
The Justice Department's civil rights division said in a letter to Arpaio this week that he is under investigation for an alleged pattern of discriminatory police practices and of discrimination based on national origin.
The honorable Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, who asked for a federal investigation of Arpaio a year ago, said Tuesday he is encouraged that one has finally begun. "One year ago, I raised questions and concerns about possible civil rights violators by the sheriff against American citizens, military veterans and immigrants of every legal status, based on skin color," Gordon said in a written statement. "Since that time, we have seen an encouraging and dramatic turnaround in attitude at the U..S. Department of Justice. We should all be encouraged that our new attorney general is taking these issues seriously and this is the right thing to do."
Various Civil Rights organizations, including the NCLR, the National Immigration Forum and America's Voice have stated: "—“For some time we have been concerned about Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s abuse of authority under Maricopa County’s 287(g) contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Arpaio has made it clear that he and his deputies have little regard for due process, civil liberties, and their obligation to protect all residents of Maricopa County. We look with hope to the Civil Rights Division investigation. We hope that the Department of Justice will send a signal to local law enforcement agencies throughout America and restore the rule of law to Maricopa County. This is long overdue.”
Perhaps now we will see Justice occur, especially for those little girls who were terrorized by Arpaio and his masked henchmen during their Confirmation Mass.