Arpaio to DOJ: ‘Don’t Pick on Me’

KPHO-TV (Phoenix), July 8, 2009

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will not cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice in an ongoing investigation into whether the office uses racial profiling, Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced in a news conference Tuesday.

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The sheriff claims the DOJ is investigating his office for political reasons, not because of racial profiling; according to Arpaio, the Democrats in Washington don’t agree with section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows local law enforcement agencies to assist with illegal immigration enforcement efforts.

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The DOJ informed the sheriff’s office in March that it was investigating. Since then, Arpaio said the agency has yet to cite any specific examples of racial profiling.

“The new attorney general has said that his top priority is to go after racial profiling,” he said. “Don’t pick on me to show you’re doing something. If you’re going to do it, pick on someone that’s guilty–there’s a big difference here.”

Arpaio said he’ll fight the investigation, even if it means suing the federal government.

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