DOJ’s Race Claims Are, Alas, Weak

Robert Robb, Arizona Republic, December 21, 2011

The most sensational allegation the Department of Justice has leveled against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office is that Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be subject to traffic stops than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.

It is also the most important allegation. It appears to provide hard evidence in support of the general claim that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is guilty of systemic racial discrimination.

At this point, however, the presumption has to be that the allegation is also based on junk science, since the DOJ refuses to release the “statistical study” on which it is based.

The reason for that presumption, paradoxically, is the DOJ’s findings letter itself. Another allegation is that the sheriff’s office does not keep sufficient data on traffic stops to determine whether racial profiling is occurring.

How can the underlying data be insufficient to determine whether racial profiling is occurring, but sufficient to conclude that Arpaio’s office racially profiles more than any other law-enforcement agency in the country?

The DOJ says the sheriff’s office “frequently” arrests Latinos without cause. What constitutes “frequently”? The DOJ doesn’t say.

How does the percentage of wrongful arrests of Latinos compare with that of non-Latinos? The DOJ doesn’t say. How does the record of the sheriff’s office compare with that of other Valley law-enforcement agencies with respect to wrongful arrests? The DOJ doesn’t say.

{snip}

Arpaio, of course, contends that’s because the issue isn’t really racial discrimination. It’s an attempt by the Obama administration to stop him from enforcing immigration laws.

I don’t think that’s the case. Regrettably, however, the Department of Homeland Security strongly bolstered Arpaio’s argument when it rescinded the authorization for his office to access federal databases to check the immigration status of those booked in the county jails.

This is the one immigration-enforcement program of Arpaio’s that incontestably is implemented in a racially neutral fashion. The immigration status of everyone booked is checked. {snip}

{snip}

I’ve made it clear that I think Arpaio is running a rogue agency. {snip}

In my book, Arpaio wears a very black hat, and it would be great if some good guys chased him out of town.

At this point, however, it’s far from clear that the Obama administration is wearing the white hat in this story.

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Question Diversity

    Houston Chronicle editorial asks: Is Obama’s fulmination against Arpaio an effort to troll for Hispanic votes? Obama’s Hispanic poll numbers are a bit lethargic, and the marginal drop in 2012 compared to 2008 (he will still get the majority) might make the difference in states like Colorado and Nevada.

    Duh.

    http://goo.gl/Tdlrk

    This article makes a good point:

    How does the percentage of wrongful arrests of Latinos compare with that of non-Latinos? The DOJ doesn’t say. How does the record of the sheriff’s office compare with that of other Valley law-enforcement agencies with respect to wrongful arrests? The DOJ doesn’t say.

    This is more profound than its author might know. Most of the population of the Phoenix area, Maricopa County, is in an incorporated municipality, and therefore, served by that city’s police department, e.g. Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, and many others. I don’t know if MCSO really operates inside any municipality, it might only regularly enforce the law in unincorporated Maricopa County, while providing para-law enforcement activities (court house security, inmate transport, etc.) at the county court house in Phoenix.

    Those valley cities’ PDs might have 287g or Secure Communities authority, except some of them might not want it, because their city governments are full of amnesty kooks. But if they do have it and continue to have it, then all we can conclude that Obama/Holder/Perez have a vendetta out on Arpaio, as the open borders lobby is on a rampage after SB 1070.

    Can anyone fill in the blanks for me?

  • Anonymous

    Every time an illegal alien commits a crime in this country, the author of this article approves, since he does not want them removed. Therefore, he bears a bit of the guilt for the mayhem they cause.

  • wert

    The DOJ should be renamed the Department of INjustice. The loathsome, anti-white Holder is a criminal who has hijacked this department to further his own agenda. It’s obvious he has a vendetta against whites for our higher socio-economic position which he apparently believes has been unfaily obtained at the expense of “his people.” He thinks he is settling the score, so to speak. Any white who votes for Obama/Holder et al next year should have their head examined.

  • Anonymous

    black hat? white hat? uh-oh: another racist!

  • olewhitelady

    How can people in the U.S. be “arrested without cause”? Drivers cannot be even ticketed for no reason. If Hispanics–or anyone else–is arrested, it’s because the officer charges him with an arrestable offense, like DUI, drug possession, driving a vehicle reported as stolen, or because there’s a warrant for him. People aren’t run in simply because a cop doesn’t like their looks. They aren’t even stopped unless police can articulate a reason for doing so.

    Eric Holder just wants people to believe that Joe Arpaio is operating outside the law, and of course there are many ignorant pro-Obama folks naive enough to do so.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the traffice stops in Mexico City are of Mexicans. It must be deiscrimination!

  • eric charlie chaplin holder

    Race is the elephant in the American political living room. Eric Holder gets to toss baseless and irresponsible charges of racism whenever it suits him. Actual racism as a motivating factor for violence or simple discrimination, is far more common when exercised against whites.As in the riots monday at the mall of America.

  • Jeddermann.

    “Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be subject to traffic stops than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.”

    Similarly situated? What does that mean? Anyone venture a guess?

    If “Latinos” commit four times the amount of traffic offenses than whitey, I would expect “Latinos” to be stopped four times as often than whitey.

  • John Engelman

    Racial discrimination is only immoral, and it should only be illegal, when it is on the basis of race alone. When it is on the basis of what correlates with race it is appropriate.

  • Anonymous

    And I would bet that Asians are stopped less than any other races for traffic violations. Guess what – if so, that is because they commit fewer traffic violations. It’s not a racist conspiracy theory.

  • The Bobster

    And I would bet that Asians are stopped less than any other races for traffic violations. Guess what – if so, that is because they commit fewer traffic violations. It’s not a racist conspiracy theory.

    _________

    I’m guessing you’ve never been in a car with an Asian driver.

  • obamas in the mist

    Movie theaters shut down in alabama due to 700 (black) youth , teens, children, students, ————- fill in the blank

    http://goo.gl/vpe1d

  • Robert Robb is trying so hard to indite Sheriff  Joe. Even though he will admit the DJO doesn’t have much of a case, he still can’t give Sheriff Joe a pass.

  • It might also be because Holder is starting to feel the heat from the Congressional investigation into Project Gunwalker. He has to do something, anything, to deflect attention from himself.

    So he goes after Sheriff Arpaio, who is known to be tough on criminals, and doesn’t mollycoddle inmates.