The Department of Justice (DOJ) released the results of a three-year investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Masked Goon Squad. They concluded what we've been telling you all along. Arpyao and his deputies are the ones who've been breaking law.
According to the DOJ's investigation, Arpaio and his Goons routinely discriminate against Latinos and retaliate against anyone they view as their enemy. This is in violation of both the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act.
Thomas Perez, assistant Attorney General for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, says the investigation uncovered rampant widespread racial profiling. "Our experts found that Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers." Perez added Latinos were often stopped without cause. "This case involved the most egregious racial profiling in the United States that he had ever personally observed in the course of his work."
Federal investigators made two more critical findings regarding the Maricopa County sheriff's office.
1. An illegal pattern of retaliation that comes straight from the top of the department. "People opposed to the department's policies were frequently arrested and jailed for no reason or forced to defend against specious civil complaints or other baseless charges." Those retaliated against include local government officials, attorneys who raised the specter of discrimination by the sheriff and even some reporters in the community.
2. Arpayaso's Detention officers (goons) rampantly and maliciously punish Latino inmates, particulary those with accents, for failing to immediately respond to commands in English. The goons REFUSE to accept grievance complaints written in Spanish and they routinely FORCE Latino inmates to sign English-language forms that could waive their constitutional rights without offering translation help.
In the sheriff's jail, for example, detention officers invoked offensive slurs and profanities against Latinos, calling them "wetbacks," "Mexican bitches," and "stupid Mexicans," the Justice Department letter said. "Sheriff Arpaio's own actions have helped nurture MCSO's culture of bias," said the letter, written to the Maricopa County attorney. For example, the sheriff apparently endorsed one constituent's letter asking for a "round-up" at one Phoenix street corner of "dark-skin(ned)" people: Arpaio told a member of his command staff in a note to "(h)ave someone handle this," the Justice Department said.
Additionally, during today's press conference, the DOJ reported: "We are also reviewing allegations that MCSO has failed to investigate a large number of sex crimes." The sheriff's office has acknowledged to federal authorities that 432 cases of sexual assault and child molestation were not properly investigated over a three-year period ending in 2007, and many of the victims apparently were Latinos, the Justice Department said.
The DOJ said: "In short, MCSO is broken in a number of critical respects. The problems are deeply rooted in (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) culture, and are compounded by (its) penchant for retaliation against individuals who speak out," The DOJ authorities are also looking at allegations of excessive force and a deliberate failure to provide law enforcement services in Latino communities.
ARPAIO MUST AGREE TO MAKE RAMPANT CHANGES BY JANUARY 2012 OR THE DOJ WILL FILE FEDERAL CHARGES AGAINST HIM!
LA TIMES REPORTS:
But Arpaio is hardly the victim of a conspiracy. The Justice Department's scathing report makes that clear. An expert hired by the department said this case involves "the most egregious racial profiling in the United States" that he has ever seen in the course of his work, according to the report. On Arpaio's watch, deputies went unchecked. One officer used his patrol car to intentionally hit and drag a Latino man and then instructed other deputies to "leave him there," investigators said. A Latino motorist was incarcerated for 13 days for failing to use his turn signal.