News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Depart of Justice accuses Arpaio of racial profiling and unconstitutional policing

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

A holiday wish

A holiday wish to all our friends from Kathy and me!

May joy, kindness, health and peace be the gifts you give and share this holiday season and throughout the year. 

Raul Ramos y Sanchez