Friday, December 16, 2011


We have problems that confront us as a nation and as individual human beings on both sides of our border with Mexico.

From and the wire services:

Arizona sheriff violates civil rights of Latinos, Justice Department says

The U.S. Justice Dept has released a report accusing Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Latinos. NBC's Pete Williams has the details.
Updated at 5 p.m. EST

The U.S. government said Thursday that the man who called himself the toughest sheriff in America ran an office that has committed wide-ranging civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged complaints.
The U.S. Justice Department's expert on measuring racial profiling called it the most egregious case he has seen, the department's civil rights division chief told reporters.
The scathing report on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release, marks the federal government's harshest rebuke of a man who rose to national prominence for his immigration crackdowns. Republican presidential candidates have competed for his endorsement.
Ross D. Franklin / AP
Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio is accused by the Department of Justice of committing wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos.
(Read the full Department of Justice letter here.)
Arpaio has long denied the racial profiling allegation. His office did not immediately respond Thursday to requests for comment.
After the report was released, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would cut ties with Arpaio.
Secretary Janet Napolitano, formerly Arizona's governor, said the department is ending an agreement with the Maricopa County sheriff's office that allowed trained deputies to enforce immigration laws. It's also restricting the office's use of the Secure Communities program, which uses fingerprints collected in local jails to identify illegal immigrants.

Arpaio, 79, 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.
Apart from the civil rights investigation, a federal grand jury has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009. His department allegedly has misspent county money and failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sexual-abuse cases, many involving illegal immigrants, The New York Times reported.
The civil rights report will require Arpaio to set up effective policies against discrimination that a judge would monitor for compliance. 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.
In a press conference Thursday, Thomas Perez, the head of the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division, said the department's expert on measuring racial profiling called the case the most egregious case of racial profiling in the country that he has seen or reviewed in professional literature.
The civil rights report criticized the sheriff's office for launching immigration patrols, known as "sweeps," based on complaints that Latinos were merely gathering near a business without committing crimes.
Mark Ralston / Getty Images
An illegal immigrant is processed by deputies working for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, after an operational sweep in Phoenix on July 29, 2010.
The report said Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped in traffic stops in Maricopa County than non-Latinos. Deputies on the immigrant-smuggling squad stop and arrest Latino drivers without good cause, the investigation found.
A review 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 stops rarely led to smuggling arrests.
Latinos who were in the U.S. legally were arrested or detained without cause during the sweeps, according to the report.
Illegal immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted since January 2008, according to figures provided by Arpaio's office.
The civil rights report also found that police supervisors often used county accounts to send emails that demeaned Latinos to colleagues. One email had a photo of a mock driver's license for a fictional state called "Mexifornia."
Federal investigators also focused heavily on the language barriers in Arpaio's jails.
Latino inmates with limited English skills were punished for failing to understand commands in English by being put in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day.
Detention officers refused to accept forms requesting basic daily services and reporting mistreatment when the documents were completed in Spanish, and they pressured Latinos with limited English skills to sign forms that implicated their legal rights without language assistance.
Arpaio, one of Arizona's leading Republicans, recently endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
"I don't know what all the details are, but I do know this, that nothing surprises me out of this administration," Perry said Thursday on Fox News. "This administration oversaw "Fast and Furious," a sting operation in which illegally obtained weapons were allowed across the border into Mexico in an effort to find drug cartel leaders.
"I would suggest to you that these people are out after Sheriff Joe," Perry said. "He is tough. And again, when I'm the president of the United States you're not going to see me going out after states like Arizona or Alabama suing sovereign states for making decisions particularly because the federal government has been abject failure at securing the border.
Rey Torres, president of the Arizona Latino Republican Association, told that his group declared a “vehement rejection of everything” in the Justice Department report.
He called Arpaio a needed “soldier in the fight to keep Arizona citizens safe from violence perpetrated along immigration corridors due to the federal government’s unwillingness to enforce immigration law in this region or any others.”
“It would be more interesting if [U.S. Attorney General Eric] Holder held himself up to the same legal scrutiny and once and for all revealed who is responsible for “Fast and Furious” rather than push these trumped up charges of racial profiling that distract from the issue.
The Arizona Democratic Party on Thursday, said, "It's hard to imagine a public official who more embodies corruption, waste and arrogance than Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We welcome the Justice Department's full attention to this case and hope it helps mainstream Arizona move on from Arpaio's extremism and embrace a new era of responsible leadership."
The Associated Press and's Jim Gold contributed to this report.


  1. Gosh, I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you! I figgered this thread would be chock full-o-nutjob comments from the gunzloonz about how best to rid the people of Aryanzona of an obviously derelict public offficial.

    Then I realized that he's only hatin' on sortabrown and mexicanish folks. Nothing to see here, move along.

  2. Naw, Gunloons are pretty particular about what they comment upon.

    Unless they are greg.

  3. Democommie,

    This article only appeared today. I've told you before what my position is on our rights, and if all of this is confirmed, I look forward to appropriate remedies being used against Arpaio.

  4. "This article only appeared today."

    THIS article only appeared today. Joe Thepiehole has been doing this shit for at least 25 years. But then you wouldn't have any concern about that, because he's a True MerKKKin Patriot who believes in Gunz first, Gunz last, Gunz alwayz

  5. Democommie,

    Since I'm not a resident of his county in Arizona, I can only go on news reports. I suppose that you can tell me all about the sheriff of a given county in Arkansas?

    Seriously, from what I've heard, Arpaio is someone who has let power go to his head.

    What we see in the comments here is an example of why our side will never work with yours. You can't recognize when someone agrees with you, unless that person agrees with everything that you believe.

  6. "Since I'm not a resident of his county in Arizona, I can only go on news reports. I suppose that you can tell me all about the sheriff of a given county in Arkansas?"

    Not much, unless of course they'd been all over the news for the last couple of years and had quite a lot of news printed about them since the mid 80's.

    If you're telling me that you've never heard of Joe Arpaio before then you're an idiot who lives in a very small world (something a number of us here suspected already, btw).

    "What we see in the comments here is an example of why our side will never work with yours. You can't recognize when someone agrees with you, unless that person agrees with everything that you believe."

    Greg Camp:

    I'm not sure how I can be anymore clear and direct, but I'll give it a try.

    I don't give a fuck what you think about anything, except on the subject of gunz. You don't need to reveal your ignorance on a wide range of subjects (although you choose to do so, often), I'll accept that you're a dumbfuck without further demonstration from you. On the subject of gunz, you are aggresively stupid and somewhat delusional. If those conditions existed within the broader context of your butterfly collecting or some other innocuous hobby I wouldn't care. That you choose to be a gunzloon and tout both your omniscience on the subject of firearms and your intransigene in the matter of obeying laws that might make the legality of your fetish less all encompassing, yeah, that concerns me.

    Here's a hint. I don't give a fuck whether you SAY you agree with me or not, on any matter. You're a gunzloon.

  7. Hey, do you have a tweet button on this thing or am I just blind? If you don't I've found blogger's share buttons to be effective.

  8. Andy, Would you mind shootin' me an e-mail to explain those options. You may have already done that, but I'm not sure.

    Greg, I agree with you completely about Arpaio. He sounds like a guy who's let power go to his head.