Friday, December 16, 2011

Feds Finally Thump Arpaio

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist 

I awoke to great news on the radio this morning.  The US Department of Justice, after a painfully slow three-year investigation, has finally come down with a list of findings against the most narcissistic and shameless cop in America, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.  In a detailed list of abuses, the DOJ hammered Arpaio on his department's pervasive practice of racial profiling, routine mistreatment of minority (Latino) inmates, and knee-jerk retaliation against those Arpaio sees as opponents to his onerous law enforcement practices.

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, herself a victim of Arpaio's political revenge, viewed the release of the DOJ report as a God-given Christmas miracle.  She said, "Let this be the start of the end of Joe Arpaio and his reign of terror."

Some of the findings in the report were:

  • Latino drivers are four-to-nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.
  • A fifth of all the immigration-sweep traffic stops violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizures.
  • Arpaio's anti-immigration squads responded repeatedly with enforcement patrols to complaints about people with "dark skin" or Spanish speakers.
  • Jail guards punished Spanish-speaking inmates for failing to understand their commands in English, sometimes putting them into solitary confinement for that reason.
  • Jail guards refused to accept grievance forms and "tank orders' which allow inmates to request basic daily services, that were written in Spanish.
  • Guards pressured Latino inmates to sign voluntary deportation forms.
  • Arpaio's office responded to critics by subjecting them to "retaliatory detentions and arrests without cause, unfounded civil lawsuits, and other baseless complaints."
After the report was released today, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it was taking its 287(g) cross-training program out of the county's jails - and prisoners held on immigration charges were also being removed to other facilities.  DHS is headed by former Arizona governor and long-time Arpaio foe Janet Napolitano.  Arpaio will no longer be able to strut his stuff as a junior G-Man.

Joe Arpaio, in his best bulldog manner, held a news conference today and declared the whole thing a "witch hunt," and said it was orchestrated by President Obama who is picking on him for the benefit of Obama's upcoming presidential campaign.  That, of course, is a baseless charge, but one that is almost amusing considering that Joe is always in campaign mode and has a habit of leaking his department's upcoming raids and theatrics to friendly members of the press.

Mary Rose Wilcox is right.  It's time for the Arpaio reign of terror to come to an end.  Old Joe needs to go - now more than ever!

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