Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been found to have improperly used public funds, lost multiple law suits for violating individuals civil rights, and used his office to maliciously prosecute political opponents. These are not things he is accused of doing, they are cases which he lost. He parades inmates through the streets in pink underwear. These are individuals who’ve never been convicted of a crime, but are awaiting trial. He serves moldy, rotten food to people while using funds dedicated to their care and custody to take trips to Disneyland and Alaska. He refused to cooperate with a federal government civil investigation into civil rights violations in his department and had to be sued to compel his cooperation, the case went all the way to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is the Bull Connor of the modern era and he is proud of it.
As shocking and disgusting as his behavior as a public official is, even more shocking and disgusting is the Federal government’s not only tolerance of his behavior but their continued complicity in these civil and human rights abuses. He’s been sheriff of Maricopa County since 1992. Amnesty International first reported on his human rights violations in 1997 and yet, it has taken another 14 years for the Department of Justice to even issue a report on this guy, and the Department of Homeland Security just now decided that maybe they shouldn’t be training his officers and working with him?
Patrick Fitzgerald needs to get down there and show him what the power of the US Attorney’s office is. His actions are criminal and corrupt and if a three year investigation hasn’t garnered enough evidence against a man who’s not even trying to hide his wrong doing then the Department of Justice is asleep on the job.
Here’s a link to the New York Times Article discussing the report: U.S. Finds Pervasive Bias Against Latinos by Arizona Sheriff