DoJ: Sheriff Arpaio of Arizona Violated Civil Rights
From CNN: Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has engaged in systemic discrimination against Latinos with practices that violate federal law and the Constitution, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday. (Full story)
From the Huffington Post: 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. (Full story)
Some details from the DOJ report:
- Federal investigators 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 or keeping prisoners locked down in their jail pods for as long as 72 hours without a trip to the canteen area or making nonlegal phone calls.
- The report said some jail officers used racial slurs for Latinos when talking among themselves and speaking to inmates.
- Detention officers refused to accept forms requesting basic daily services and reporting mistreatment when the documents were completed in Spanish and pressured Latinos with limited English skills to sign forms that implicate their legal rights without language assistance.