Tag: Joe Arpaio

Justice Dept Report Finds Sheriff Joe Arpaio Violates Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has released its investigative report on Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa Sheriff's Deaprtment. It finds serious civil rights violations. The full report is here.

The report finds "a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations." The Department is seeking a written agreement from the Department and implementation of federal oversight. If it refuses, it will file a civil suit to force compliance. [More...]

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NY Governor To Accelerate Pardons to Avoid Deportation

New York Governor David Paterson today announced that he would accelerate the pardon process so as to grant more pardons to legal immigrants convicted of old, minor crimes and prevent them from being deported.

Some of our immigration laws, particularly with respect to deportation, are embarrassingly and wrongly inflexible,” Mr. Paterson said in a speech on Monday at an annual gathering of the state’s top judges. “In New York we believe in renewal,” he added. “In New York, we believe in rehabilitation.”

In other good news, Sheriff Joe Arpaio won't run for Governor. Now if he'd only leave law enforcement. David Newert at Crooks and Liars has more on Arapio's possible motives. And here's the Pulitzer winning five part Tribune series on Arpaio's performance in office, which leaves much to be desired, to say the least.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio Claims Investigation is Politically Based

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is the subject of three investigations for civil rights violations resulting from his policies involving the pursuit undocumented immigrants, is complaining the investigations are politically motivated.

In his letter, [Arapaio attorney] Driscoll said that a civil rights probe of the Arpaio operation began in early March, weeks after four influential Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee called for an investigation into alleged discrimination and possible constitutional violations in arrests and in police searches and seizures.

The investigation appeared on a list of accomplishments the Justice Department prepared for reporters in April, after the Obama administration had been in office 100 days. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has said that reinvigorating the enforcement of civil rights laws is a high priority.

Another of his complaints: [More...]

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Newspaper Series Debunking Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Immigration Policies Wins Pulitzer

Sheriff Joe Arapaio is a national disgrace. Among the Pulitzer prizes awarded today was one to Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune (Mesa, Arizona) for its coverage of Arpaio's immigration enforcement policies.

The Pulitzer committee noted that Gabrielson and Giblin received the award for “their adroit use of limited resources to reveal, in print and online, how a popular sheriff’s focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of violent crime and other aspects of public safety.“

Arpaio makes a mockery of the Constitution. Here's the five part series that won the Pulitzer. TalkLeft's posts on Sheriff Joe over the years are assembled here.

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NYTimes: Obama Should End Sheriff Joe Immigration Raids

The New York Times asks, Who's Running Immigration? saying President Obama and Janet Napolitano should put an end to the reign of terror Sheriff Joe Arpaio has instilled in Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ.

[Arpaio] has terrorized Latino neighborhoods with relentless sweeps and has paraded shackled immigrants through the streets.

When she was the Arizona governor, Ms. Napolitano was an outspoken supporter of delegating neglected federal immigration duties to local authorities. Sheriff Arpaio is an example of that concept run amok.

The Times also asks, how did a workplace raid in Bellingham, WA take place without Obama or Napolitano knowing about it? [More...]

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Fox Gives Sheriff Joe Arpaio His Own Show

Maricopa County (Phoenix, AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who instituted such ridiculous shaming punishments as forcing male inmates to wear pink underwear, making juveniles serve on chain gangs and bury the dead, and requiring inmates to sleep in tents, and who is the subject of a class action suit by the ACLU for racial profiling of latinos in an effort to enforce federal immigration laws, is being given his own tv show on the Fox Reality Channel.

The show is called "Smile, You're Under Arrest". [More...]

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BOP Bans Shackling of Pregnant Inmates

Some welcome news from the Bureau of Prisons: Pregnant inmates will no longer be shackled during transport. The policy change is here (pdf.)

This new policy represents a sea change in the United States, where the shackling of pregnant women during transport, labor, and even delivery has long been routine in jails and prisons. Currently, only California, Illinois, and Vermont have enacted state laws restricting the practice of shackling pregnant women. By contrast, international human rights bodies have repeatedly expressed concern about policies that permit shackling of pregnant women.

In other good news, an Arizona judge has declared the conditions of the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio's domain -- unconsitutional. [More...]

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Racial Profiling Class Action Suit Against Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Maricopa County (Phoenix, AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who instituted such ridiculous shaming punishments as forcing male inmates to wear pink underwear, making juveniles serve on chain gangs and bury the dead, and requiring inmates to sleep in tents, is the subject of a new class action lawsuit by the ACLU and others for racial profiling of Latinos.

The suit alleges Arpaio has been conducting "crime suppression sweeps" of Latinos in an effort to enforce federal immigration laws.

Claiming authority under a limited agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE that actually prohibits the practices challenged here, Defendants have launched a series of massive so-called "crime suppression sweeps" that show a law enforcement agency operating well beyond the bounds of the law.


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Phoenix Mayor Asks for Investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Immigration Crackdowns

Earlier I wrote about Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio's latest shaming punishment for women inmates. Now I see the Sheriff has much bigger problems. The Mayor of Phoenix is asking the FBI to investigate his crackdowns on the undocumented.

In an April 4 letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, Mayor Phil Gordon asked the agency and the Justice Department’s civil rights division to examine what he called discriminatory harassment and improper stops, searches and arrests by sheriff’s deputies in Maricopa County, which encompasses the metropolitan area.

“Over the past few weeks, Sheriff Arpaio’s actions have infringed on the civil rights of our residents,” Mr. Gordon wrote. “They have put our residents’ well-being, and the well-being of law enforcement officers, at risk.”

Arpaio zings back: [More...]

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The Latest in Shaming Punishments

Leave it to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to come up with yet another shaming punishment. Forcing male inmates to wear pink underwear, and putting teens on chain gangs to bury the dead wasn't enough. Now there's this:

Women inmates in Maricopa County have been on chain gangs since 1996.

Now, 15 of them will wear T-shirts that say "I was a drug addict" as they clean trash from a Phoenix street on Monday.

What's wrong with shaming punishments? Everything. Here's Jonathan Turley in a terrific op-ed on the subject.

As I wrote here,

There are other alternative sentencing solutions out there that should be tried, and if they are lacking, then judges should spend their creative energy coming up with better ones that don't demean and further alienate the offender.

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Smile, You're On D.U.I. TV

Maybe it's something in the water down in Phoenix. Now in addition to their off-the-wall Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, they have a County Attorney, Andrew Thomas, who's spending $700k on a DUI program that includes posting the mug shots of those arrested for driving under the influence on the web. Even MADD doesn't like it, and that's saying something.

The hall of shame is even worse for drunken drivers convicted of a felony. A select few will find their faces plastered on billboards around Phoenix with the banner headline: Drive drunk, see your mug shot here.

The Web site and billboards, which began last month, are the brainchildren of Andrew P. Thomas, the county attorney here who has served as the prosecutorial counterpart to the county’s hard-edged sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who has been known to force inmates into pink underwear.

Thomas is not without his critics. He's sometimes called "Little Joe" because of his closeness to Arpaio.

When he took office in January 2005, Thomas made it clear he was following Arpaio's playbook. Politics and retribution would be the order of the day.

Here's the first of 70 pages of misdemeanor mugs in Scottsdale.


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