Monday, August 30, 2010

DOJ Breathing Hard Down Arpaio's Neck re: Racial Profiling Indictment

Joe Arpaio Gets New Deadline from DOJ; County Offers Its Subpoena Power To Feds

The U.S. Department of Justice has given Sheriff Joe Arpaio a deadline in his Racial Profiling/Abuse of Power Charges. The deadline to produce required documents is September 10. To date, Arpaio has been non-compliant with the investigation. The DOJ has put it's foot down. They want access to various records, MCSO facilities, and MCSO employees, particularly for the ACLU's lawsuit Melendres vs. Arpaio, which is still ongoing and alleges a pattern of racial profiling by the MCSO during their controversial anti-immigrant sweeps in Latino neighborhoods. The DOJ asked for a "clear and unequivocal agreement to cooperate" no later than the close of business September 10.

The Melendres vs Arpaio case is significant. The complaint goes to the heart of the DOJ indictment - Racial Profiling of Latino Neighborhoods and disparate treatment for people of color. READ THE COMPLAINT. There are multiple plaintiffs in this case, including: Manuel Melendres - a Legal Visitor from Mexico, Jessica and David Rodriguez - Legal Citizens, Manuel Nieto - Legal Resident and Somos America who speaks for numerous Latinos who the complaint says were racially profiled during suppression sweeps by Arpaio and his masked volunteers in Latino neighborhoods in Maricopa County.

The DATE is set - September 10. That is Arpaio's deadline set by the DOJ to produce documents. However Arpaio's lawyer (shaking in his boots & knowing Arpaio's culpability) is resisting. Regardless the resistance, Officials in Maricopa County are offering the DOJ assistance.

At stake are federal funds received by Maricopa County. These are governed by Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which "prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs receiving federal financial assistance," the DOJ's Web site explains. According to Maricopa County Communications Director Cari Gerchick, the county receives around $113 million dollars in Federal Aid, including $50 million that goes to public health programs. All this could potentially be in jeopardy because of Arpaio's defiance of the DOJ.

Indeed, the county is so eager for Arpaio to play ball with the Feds that it recently fired off a letter to the DOJ offering to help by using the Board of Supervisors' subpoena power to force the MCSO to comply. County Manager David Smith advised Arpaio of its letter to the DOJ on August 12. In Smith's letter to Arpaio, he tells the MCSO that "it may not expend any public funds, including expenses for outside counsel, to resist any DOJ Title VI inquiry." Smith warns Arpaio that the county "will not pay any invoices for attorneys who assist you in any effort to resist a Title VI inquiry."

It is no wonder Driscoll replied so quickly to the Smith letter. In a snitty hate-gram sent via e-mail (read it, here), Driscoll snapped that Arpaio "does not report to you, or to the Board of Supervisors."

Now the stage is set. The DOJ has laid down the gauntlet. Arpaio and his attorneys have until Sept. 10, 2010 to respond. Let them produce the documentation. Let the DOJ sift through their documents. Then LET'S INDICT THE EVIL SHERIFF & HIS MASKED GOONS AND LET THEM SPEND YEARS IN THEIR OWN DEPLORABLE PRISON CONDITIONS!

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