The federal government issued a scathing report Thursday that outlines how Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release, is a result of the U.S. Justice Department's three-year investigation of Arpaio's office amid complaints of racial profiling and a culture of bias at the agency's top level.
The Justice Department's conclusions in the civil probe mark the federal government's harshest rebuke of a national political fixture who has risen to prominence for his immigration crackdowns and became coveted endorsement among candidates in the GOP presidential field.
Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.
The civil rights report said federal authorities will continue to investigate complaints of deputies using excessive force against Latinos, whether the sheriff's office failed to provide adequately police services in Hispanic communities and a large number of sex-crimes cases that were assigned to the agency but weren't followed up on or investigated at all.
The report took the sheriff's office to task for launching immigration patrols, known as "sweeps," based on complaints that Latinos were merely gathering near a business without committing crimes. Federal authorities single out Arpaio himself and said his office, known as MCSO, has no clear policies to guard against the violations, even after he changed some of his top aides earlier this year.
"Arpaio's own actions have helped nurture MCSO's culture of bias," wrote Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department's civil rights division, adding that the sheriff frequently gave such racially charged letters to some of his top aides and saved them in his own files.
"MCSO is broken in a number of critical respects. The problems are deeply rooted in MCSO's culture," he said Thursday.
The Justice Department's expert on measuring racial profiling said it's the most egregious case of racial profiling in the nation that he has seen or reviewed in professional literature, Perez said.
Investigators interviewed more than 400 people, including Arpaio, reviewed thousands of documents and toured county jails as part of its probe, he said.
If the sheriff's office doesn't turn around its policies and practices, the federal government could pull millions of dollars of federal funding.
Arpaio's office did not immediately respond to AP requests for comment.
The report will require Arpaio to set up effective policies against discrimination, improve training and make other changes that would be monitored for compliance by a judge. Arpaio faces a Jan. 4 deadline for saying whether he wants to work out an agreement. If not, the federal government will sue him and let a judge decide the complaint.
Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America, has long denied the racial profiling allegation, saying people are stopped if deputies have probable cause to believe they have committed crimes and that deputies later find many of them are illegal immigrants.
Arpaio has built his reputation on jailing inmates in tents and dressing them in pink underwear, selling himself to voters as unceasingly tough on crime and pushing the bounds of how far local police can go to confront illegal immigration.
The report also said he and some top staffers tried to silence people who have spoken out against the sheriff's office by arresting people without cause, filing meritless lawsuits against opponents and starting investigations of critics.
One example cited by the Justice Department is former top Arpaio aide David Hendershott, who filed bar complaints against attorneys critical of the agency along with bringing judicial complaints against judges who were at odds with the sheriff. All complaints were dismissed.
The anti-corruption squad's cases against two county officials and a judge collapsed in court before going to trial and have been criticized by politicians at odds with the sheriff as trumped up. Arpaio has defended the investigations as a valid attempt at rooting out corruption in county government.
The civil rights report said Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped in traffic stops in Maricopa County than non-Latinos and that the agency's immigration policies treat Latinos as if they are all in the country illegally. Deputies on the immigrant-smuggling squad stop and arrest Latino drivers without good cause, the investigation found.
A review done as part of the investigation found that 20 percent of traffic reports handled by Arpaio's immigrant-smuggling squad from March 2006 to March 2009 were stops almost all involving Latino drivers that were done without reasonable suspicion. The squad's stops rarely led to smuggling arrests.
Deputies are encouraged to make high-volume traffic stops in targeted locations. There were Latinos who were in the U.S. legally who were arrested or detained without cause during the sweeps, according to the report.
During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city in some cases, heavily Latino areas over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Illegal immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted by his office since January 2008, according to figures provided by Arpaio's office.
Police supervisors, including at least one smuggling-squad supervisor, often used county accounts to send emails that demeaned Latinos to fellow sheriff's managers, deputies and volunteers in the sheriff's posse. One such email had a photo of a mock driver's license for a fictional state called "Mexifornia."
[Washington Post] The B.O. regime is alerting employees to the possibility of a partial government shutdown if talks on bills to fund the government and extend the payroll tax cut collapse later this week.
With Congress facing a midnight Friday deadline to either pass a short-term or final measure to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, Cabinet secretaries and agency heads planned to send an e-mail message to workers by close of business Wednesday informing them that a shutdown could occur, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the plans.
A shutdown would not apply to a wide swath of agencies and departments that already have full-year funding in place thanks to a partial spending bill that passed in November, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, House and Urban Development, Justice, State, and Transportation, NASA, and other smaller agencies covered by separate appropriations measures.
In a statement, Office of Management and Budget front man Kenneth Baer said Wednesday that "There is no reason for the government to shut down."Congress could act quickly to pass a short- or long-term spending measure, Baer said, as they have seven times already this year.
In an interview with KOAA-TV, a local news channel from Colorado Springs, Colorado, President B.O. says if Congress is not willing to pass legislation he wants, he will do it himself in order to win another term. He's got a fundamental lack of understanding about the U.S. government...
Rob Quirk, KOAA-TV: "And one year from today we will know if this a one-term or two-term president. So, I asked the president what will it take from now until then to not only win Colorado again, but reelection as well."
President B.O.: "Well, what we're going to have to do is continue to make progress on the economy over the next several months. And where Congress is not willing to act, we're going to go ahead and do it ourselves. But it would be nice if we could get a little bit of help from Capitol Hill."
He's got a fundamental lack of understanding about the U.S. government...
I think you got that sentence backwards. Despite Obummer's alternate shredding of the Constitution and hiding behind it as serves his Marxist goals, our submissive Congress seems entirely unwilling to act whenever he dommes them.
Is this what they call black power. The only thing missing is the raised fist symbol. Years of education programing. Just saying what cannot be said. The old Kennedy joke "it's my football so we play by my rules".
Someone commented that America has learned two things because of the Obama presidency.
1) We are not a racist country.
2) Let us never again inflict a black liberal president on ourselves.
Unfortunately, the citizenry are a little slow on the uptake, not having learned their lesson from Carter and Clinton. Maybe now they will finally wise up that the problem is not skin color, but that liberalism is a destructive waste and a profound failure.
Every law student is required to spend their first year on the basics: contracts, property, torts, criminal law, civil procedure, Constitutional law, and legal research and writing.
Much of one's view of the US government depends on your Constitutional law professor. I knew mine was a commie douchebag the day he asked me how I felt about a decision we'd had to read. Not "what do you think": "how do you feel."
Years 2 and 3, course selection is up to the student, which generally winds up as one of two tracks:
(A) "I plan to work for a living" (boring but necessary topics like commercial paper, corporate law, criminal procedure, federal taxation, etc.) or
(B) "I plan to agitate, raise consciousness, regulate, and/or shake down others for a living" (exciting revolutionary shit like critical race theory, environmental law, and labor law, which are all just Marxism 101 with a legal veneer).
(A) track students work like dogs, then go out and drink and f*ck like it's their last chance ever.
(B) track students join clubs: Black Law Student Association, Public Interest Law Foundation, Environmental Justice Clinic, etc.
I wouldn't have chosen BHO as a classmate, as a professor, or hired him to represent me - let alone elevate such a loser to President of the United States. I still cannot grasp how we got here.
Barack Obama was elected solely because he is considered 'black'.
Let me repeat this - this is not a racist statement just a statement of fact: Barak Obama was elected because he was black.
He was woefully unqualified for the job. Had ZERO experience - and still have ZERO experience after 3 years - he is incapable of learning from his mistakes. He had a very dishonorable record - and worse associates.
But the media, tingling legs and everything, covered for him. They said nothing of his record, zip about his associates and history or his record. Never daring to question why his records are sealed. Why? Because of the color of his skin. They called anyone and everyone who questioned his 'qualifications' a racist and was willing to dig deep and even invent things about his opponents for the same reason.
And people voted for him because of the color of his skin - to elect the first 'African-American' President.
Barak Obama is the first Affirmative Action President. Personally I believe he has been 'Affirmitive Action' in every role he has ever had - but we may never know because his records are sealed and the media refuses to ask why.
[Real Clear Politics] MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts seizes on Mitt Romney's use of the phrase "Keep America America." The network claims the phrase plays homage to the Ku Klux Klan slogan of "Keep America American." According to left-leaning news outlets, the "Keep America American" expression was apparently used by the KKK in the early 1900s.
Somehow the folks at MSNBC believe Mitt Romney is acknowledging his Klan roots by using a similar phrase in his 2012 campaign for the presidency.
UPDATE: On tonight's edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," host Chris My Thigh is Tingling! Matthews ... the late Tip O'Neill's former gopher who has magazines with centerfolds of Barack My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it Obama in his bathroom... apologized for the "irresponsible" and "incendiary" attack on Mitt Romney.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.