The U.S. Department of Justice today released a report accusing the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office led by Joe Arpaio with racial profiling of Latinos and a host of other unconstitutional practices.
“Based upon our extensive investigation, we find reasonable cause to believe that MCSO engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing," the report cites. In addition, the DOJ document states that Arpaio’s department engages in "racial profiling of Latinos; unlawfully stops, detains and arrests Latinos; and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain about or criticize MCSO' policies or practices.”
The charges against the self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff” come on the heels of charges that his department “scarcely lifted a finger to investigate hundreds of sex-crime cases Valley-wide -- many of them perpetrated against children; many with easily identifiable suspects” according to the Arizona Republic.
The Depart of Justice report corroborates years of complaints filed by civil rights groups who have accused Arapio of media-circus busts of low-wage laborers while neglecting the enforcement of serious crimes.
Personally speaking, the timing of this report during the holiday season is a blemish on what should be a celebration of the spirit of compassion. All the same, this important news cannot be ignored.
Raul Ramos y Sanchez