Snapshots

Joe Arpaio Facing Justice Department Lawsuit Over Alleged Civil Rights Violations

*Mexikaresistance.com Note: Of course, by "latinos" they actually mean "brown-skinned indigenous people."
Federal authorities said Wednesday that they plan to sue Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office over allegations of civil rights violations, including the racial profiling of Latinos. The U.S. Justice Department has been seeking an agreement requiring Arpaio's office to train officers in how to make constitutional traffic stops, collect data on people arrested in traffic stops and reach out to Latinos to assure them that the department is there to also protect them.

Arpaio has denied the racial profiling allegations and has claimed that allowing a court monitor would mean that every policy decision would have to be cleared through an observer and would nullify his authority.

DOJ officials told a lawyer for Arpaio on April 3 that the lawman’s refusal of a court-appointed monitor was a deal-breaker that would end settlement negotiations and result in a federal lawsuit.

The “notice of intent to file civil action” came Wednesday from Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez in a letter to an Arpaio lawyer.

Perez, who heads the DOJ’s civil rights division, noted that it’s been more than 100 days since the sheriff’s office received the DOJ’s findings report and federal authorities haven’t met with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office counsel since Feb. 6 to discuss the terms of a consent agreement.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Arpaio defended himself in the face of the pending lawsuit.

“If they sue, we’ll go to court. And then we’ll find out the real story,” he said. “There’s lots of miscommunication emanating from Washington. They broke off communications.

“They’re telling me how to run my organization. I’d like to get this resolved, but I’m not going to give up my authority to the federal government. It’s as simple as that,” Arpaio added.

Last December, the DOJ released a scathing report accusing Arpaio’s office of racially profiling Latinos, basing immigration enforcement on racially charged citizen complaints and punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish in Arizona’s most populous county.

FULL ARTICLE: Joe Arpaio Facing Justice Department Lawsuit Over Alleged Civil Rights Violations.

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