Arizona Sheriff’s Office Targeted Latinos, Justice Department Says

Marc Lacey, New York Times, December 15, 2011

In a harshly worded critique of the country’s best-known sheriff, the Justice Department has accused Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of engaging in “unconstitutional policing” by unfairly targeting Latinos for detentions and arrests and retaliating against those who complain.

After an investigation that lasted more than three years, the civil rights division of the Justice Department said in a 22-page report that the sheriff’s office has “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.” The department interfered with the inquiry, the government said, prompting a lawsuit that eventually led Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies to cooperate.

“We have peeled the onion to its core,” said Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, noting during a conference call with reporters on Thursday morning that more than 400 inmates, deputies and others has been interviewed as part of the review, including Sheriff Arpaio and his command staff. Mr. Perez said the inquiry, which included jail visits and reviews of thousands of pages of internal documents, raised the question of whether Latinos were receiving “second-class policing services” in Maricopa County.

Mr. Perez said he hoped Sheriff Arpaio would cooperate with the federal government in turning the department around. Should he refuse, Mr. Perez said, the government will file a lawsuit and the department could lose millions of dollars in federal money.

{snip}

Sheriff Arpaio was singled out for criticism in the report, which said that he had distributed racially charged letters he had received and that he helped nurture the department’s “culture of bias.”

{snip}

The inquiry’s findings, which Sheriff Arpaio is sure to contest, paint a picture of a department staffed by poorly trained deputies who target Latino drivers on the roadways and detain innocent Latinos in the community in their searches for illegal immigrants. The mistreatment, the government said, extends to the jails the department oversees, where Latino inmates who do not speak English are mistreated.

{snip}

The report said Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped in the sprawling county, which includes Phoenix and its environs, than non-Latino drivers. The expert who conducted the study called it the most egregious racial profiling he has ever seen in this country, said Mr. Perez, the prosecutor.

{snip}

The report also suggested that Sheriff Arpaio’s well-publicized raids aimed at arresting illegal immigrants were sometimes prompted by complaints that described no criminal activity but referred to people with “dark skin” or to Spanish speakers congregating in an area. “The use of these types of bias-infected indicators as a basis for conducting enforcement activity contributes to the high number of stops and detentions lacking in legal justification,” the report said.

{snip}

After Mr. Arpaio received a letter complaining that employees of a McDonald’s in Sun City, a retirement community, did not speak English, the sheriff forwarded the letter to a top aide, who mounted an immigration raid in the area.

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  • Hirsch

    Rather than demonstrate a hostile bias toward Hispanics, perhaps Sheriff Joe should take a page out of Attorney General Eric Holder’s playbook and start selling guns to the Mexicans, a la “Fast and Furious.”

    This is why I will vote for a Republican, even if they run a wax replica of Ronald Reagan. “Personnel is policy” as they say, and we cannot have any more Obama appointments or “Czars” (what an appropriate word).

  • Sick of It

    Pure hypocrisy. The bigots that run the “Justice Department” allow civil rights violations against whites but regard legitimate actions against non-whites as “targeting.”

    These racists should be called racists at every opportunity. They need to be removed from power.

  • Question Diversity

    Now that we are assured of the Republican nominee being white, I am voting for whoever that is over Obama, no matter what. Want to know why? Read this article. Sure, whoever it is will have a lot of immigration problems, and a lot of foibles overall, (some more than others), and we’ll have to fight them every step of the way when they want their rose-by-any-other-name amnesty or a war with Iran or high levels of legal immigration or what not. But not a one of them would make someone like Eric “My People” Holder the Attorney General, or this venal anti-white bigot Thomas Perez the Deputy AG for Civil Rights.

    You will notice in this article that Arpaio is simultaneously focusing too much and too little attention on Hispanics.

  • NBJ

    After so many of the DOJ own lawyers came forward to talk about the anti-white attitude in the civil rights division after the whole black panthers voter intimidation mess, why would anyone think that division has ANY credibility where race is concerned?

    “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.”

    Replace Latino with Whites, and the same could be said about the civil rights division at the DOJ.

  • ice

    The US Justice department is corrupted so badly it’s dysfunctional. If it isn’t manufacturing charges against innocent people, it is failing to protect the voting rights of Americans if they are white and the perpetrators are black or non-white.

    It seems that the department attracts the worst flakes, oddballs and misfits in the legal community today, and many of them secure positions there, because they are so grossly inefficient they can’t succeed on their own in private practise.

    In these times of financial turmoil that grows worse with each day, it’s going to be necessary to cut many other government positions. The Pentagon announced they will be laying off over a million workers now and in the near future.

    The Justice Dept. needs to cut substantial numbers from their ranks as well, probably in greater numbers proportionately due to the fact that so many have been hired who are in positions that serve no useful purpose at all.

    I’m all for downsizing departments and culling the freaks.

  • Anonymous

    “more than 400 inmates, deputies and others has been interviewed as part of the review, including Sheriff Arpaio and his command staff”

    In other words, they left no stone unturned in their search to justify their predetermined conclusion.

  • Anonymous

    The required kow towing to Washington by all local and regional governments on all issues (agenda 21, highways, guns, energy, policing, etc.) should be stopped immediately. Then Washington will withdraw the Federal money that they give the local governments after they have taken it from us by force! That is our money! That is not their money! That is not the money of the District of Criminals! I say let them stop sending their federal scraps and let us stop sending it to them. In fact, when they refuse to send federal scraps to locals because the feds are not allowed to call all of the shots, the locals do not need to send federal tribute to the District of Criminals.

  • Question Diversity

    Mr. Perez said he hoped Sheriff Arpaio would cooperate with the federal government in turning the department around. Should he refuse, Mr. Perez said, the government will file a lawsuit and the department could lose millions of dollars in federal money.

    As long as I’ve been compos mentis about such matters, I have been using whatever media are available to me to warn sheriff’s offices, police departments, etc. not to fall into the trap of taking Federal money, while at the same time, casting the motives of Federal politicians who want to hand out Federal money to local LEAs in a less than magnanimous light. Where there is Federal money, there is always Federal control. Yeah, it’s one thing for a President to boast about the “hundred thousand cops he put on the streets,” but the Federal money to hire those cops will come at the cost of good law enforcement policies in those cities and counties, the Feds will eventually make them dismantle those policies for “civil rights.”

  • Anonymous

    “The report said Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped in the sprawling county, which includes Phoenix and its environs, than non-Latino drivers.”

    Maybe if I lived in Maricopa county the illegal alien twice deported unlicensed driver who seriously injured and disabled me for the rest of my life would have been stopped and detained before he ran over me.

    I had been on medicare and the supplemental insurance only 4 months when the accident happened. The bill is up to $700,000 dollars. Given my genes and excellent state of general health, I’ll live to mid 90’s like my parents and grandparents. Millions more will be spent on medicare for me in the next 25 to 30 years.

    There are thousands of Americans injured and disabled by illegal hispanics. We have cost the insurance companies and goverment health programs millions. Thousands of formerly working young and middle aged adults are on disability because of injuries by hispanic illegals.

    When people talk about the high cost of hispanics both legal and illegal, we need to add in the cost of medical care and disability payments for the Americans they injure.

  • BO_Bill

    I spend time in a town that used to be essentially all white, and now has a noticeable Hispanic presence (selective capital lettering courtesy of Microsoft). This town did not used to have any graffiti, but now it does. So we pay a special government official to deal with our new graffiti. Also new to our town is a police officer who specializes in gangs. So it does not surprise me that Hispanics are pulled over more frequently than whites in Arizona.

    Perhaps the Truth is that Assistant Attorney General of the United States of America Thomas Perez harbors some sort of racial resentment against white people.

  • Anonymous

    “It seems that the department attracts the worst flakes, oddballs and misfits in the legal community today, and many of them secure positions there, because they are so grossly inefficient they can’t succeed on their own in private practise.”

    ICE, it’s called affirmative action. Most federal professional occupations need a degree and 2 years “revalent experience” or other desired qualities.

    Non Whites are in and of themselves desired qualities. That is all it takes. A fake transcript and diploma and non White or in some cases middle eastern ethnicity.

    For Whites the key is revalent experience. That means 2 years after college working for organizations like ACORN, CODE PINK, interning at SPLC or a similiar organization.

    The Justice Department and the entire federal goverment is staffed with the above. The Whites tend to be White hating marxist determined to destroy all Whites but themselves.

    The CIA internal affairs department once found out that more than 60 percent of black CIA officers did not have the required Bachelor’s degrees. They just wrote on their applications that they had the degree from whatever university. White CIA applicants are background checked upside down and inside out.

    Whatever a black writes on his CIA application is accepted as truth.

  • Anonymous

    Nice to see our justice department acting like the hard left ACLU. There’s virtually no difference between them. They aren’t concerned at all about illegal immigration, the actual problem, they won’t be punitive towards those that break the law, they’ll be punitive towards those that try to do anything about it. Our own government is anti-American. Holder spends all his time going after our own states, rather than those causing the problems that necessitate the states’ actions in the first place. Absolutely disgusting misuse of power.

  • Robert

    I wonder how many years it would take for the incompetent biased Justice Department to determine that illegal Hispanics cause a disproportionate amount of crime.

  • Auntie Em

    I would prefer that people who break the laws not have the same rights as law-abiding citizens until their debt to society is paid.

    If that occasions some inconvenience on their part I guess it’s just part of the lifestyle.

  • Anonymous

    The caption could be changed instead to say Hispanics commit 4 to 8 times the number of crime as do whites. It would be more accurate also.

  • Anonymous

    I submit that if you have to investigate for 3 years to make a case for “racism,” you’ve proven there is no significant “racism” to be found.

    It’s not as if we’re talking about guarding nuclear secrets here, folks. A 3 month investigation is pushing it.

  • Greg

    What is the saying in med school, “first do no harm?”

    I’m with some of the others here. I’m fed up and will undoubtedly vote for whatever Republican that gets the nomination, no matter how inanely they appeal to hispanics (tonight’s debate was awful yet again). At least these guys (and gal) wouldn’t go after a conservative sheriff in a conservative area. At least they might be convinced to enforce the law. At least they may provide some funding for the border fence. At least they wouldn’t look to grant backdoor amnesty to 12 million + mestizos (though I may be wrong). Obama/Holder need to go. Here’s to hoping Fast and Furious brings them down.

  • Anonymous

    Not to be cute or glib, here, but would there be a logistically

    practical way to induce the illegals here to ‘colonize’ at our

    expense and provision into Afghanistan and Iraq? If, we just

    infused a few million illegals to these two “nations” , we’d rather more or less “own” the territory and the Mexicans could feel at home.

  • Tom Iron

    Sheriff Arpaio doesn’t give a hoot what the DOJ says or doesn’t say. He knows he’s in the right and he has no worries.

    Tom Iron…

  • Rebelcelt

    raised the question of whether Latinos were receiving “second-class policing services” in Maricopa County.

    Hmmmm, If the sheriffs dept does not patrol the latinos’barrios then they are racist, if they patrol them and arrest the latino living there they are racist.

    The Sheriff needs to arrest all those white criminals preying on the law abiding illegal Latino immigrants.

  • Brian

    I wonder 1) how many of these Hispanics are biased against Americans and American laws, and 2), what treatment would be dished out to illegal immigrants caught in Mexico?

  • Anonymous

    An obviously bogus accusation. Arpaio is a full-blooded Italian, and who could be more Latino than an Italian?

  • The Bobster

    Sure, whoever it is will have a lot of immigration problems, and a lot of foibles overall, (some more than others), and we’ll have to fight them every step of the way when they want their rose-by-any-other-name amnesty or a war with Iran or high levels of legal immigration or what not. But not a one of them would make someone like Eric “My People” Holder the Attorney General, or this venal anti-white bigot Thomas Perez the Deputy AG for Civil Rights.

    _________

    For the readers out there who think a Republican president could never nomimate an AG as bad as Holder, I have two words for them: Alberto Gonzales. I expect that Perry or Gingrich would find someone just as bad as him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Gonzales

    Gonzales enjoyed broad bipartisan support in connection with his nomination, including the support of former (and crooked) Democratic HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and (pro-illegal alien)Colorado Democratic Senator Ken Salazar.

  • Anonymous

    Today’s news had a report that Homeland Security will limit its contact and cooperation with Maricopa County SD.

  • Anonymous

    “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos.” they say…right.

    And I seem to remember a book called “Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department”

    Maybe if the book gets a second printing, Adams can add this farce to his collection of evidence.

  • Anonymous

    Ref 23

    If AG Holder were white, the major MSM fog factories would have

    done extensive investigation to see if he even had a law degree.

  • Question Diversity

    23 The Bobster:

    Point taken. The more Alberto Gonzalez opens his mouth, the more and more he looks like a total turkey and whack job. The only silver lining in that cloud is that Bush really wanted him to be on the Supreme Court, where he would do permanent damage. Luckily, he was only USAG for a few years, where he did lots of damage, but not long standing damage.

  • Publius

    Hmmmm. yes, a state on the Border with Mexico targeted hispanics in its search for Illegal immagrants from Mexico…

    This DOJ brief is bizarre. It’s like saying we unfairly targeted Germans in WWII or Asians during the Vietnam war.

  • Martha’s Vineyard

    Don’t be fooled by this dog & pony show against Sheriff Joe. This, like Attorney-General Holder’s trip to Texas to decry redistricting plans, is all part of the Obama re-election campaign, pure & simple.

    The Obama machine is about NOTHING except racial politics.

    I look forward to their removal from office.