UUA President Responds to Department of Justice Report on Sheriff Joe Arpaio
UUA President Responds to Department of Justice Report on Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), has issued a statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice's Dec. 15, 2011, report (PDF, 22 pages) regarding civil rights violations by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.

"I am heartened today that the Department of Justice has finally taken a stand against the flagrant civil rights violations of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. This report shines a light on morally repugnant acts that have gone unchecked for far too long. Unitarian Universalists in Arizona and across the continent have long stood on the side of love, calling for justice and compassion in Maricopa County. Today, we applaud the Department of Justice for taking a significant step in acknowledging Arpaio's criminal behavior.

"This report, however, is not enough, not nearly. It it not sufficient to ask for a discussion when hundreds of acts of abuse are already well documented. It is long past time to remove Arpaio from his position. While we cannot undo the atrocities committed, we can—and should—demand that the Department of Justice prevent further human rights violations by acting immediately.

On Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, UUA delivered a letter co-signed by 14 religious organizations to Secretary Janet Napolitano of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Attorney General Eric Holder of the U.S. Department of Justice. The letter demands swift action by our government to put an end to crimes carried out by Arpaio and his staff. Unitarian Universalists will continue to lift up our voices until Arpaio is brought to justice and the protection of basic human rights is restored in Maricopa County. Next June, thousands of Unitarian Universalists will gather in Phoenix for our Justice General Assembly to stand on the side of love: we will gather in peace and call for justice."

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