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."