Archive for departmnet of justice

Dep't. of Justice files civil rights lawsuit against AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio

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The Obama administration planned to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for targeting Latinos. Now they're finally following through.

It's about time:

PHOENIX (AP) -- Federal authorities sued America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff Thursday after months of negotiations failed to yield an agreement to settle allegations that his department racially profiled Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols. [...]

Arpaio's office is also accused of punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish and launching some patrols based on complaints about dark-skinned people congregating in a given area or speaking Spanish. A crime was never reported. [...]

One of the examples cited in the lawsuit was a Latino woman who is a U.S. citizen and was 5-months pregnant when she was stopped as she pulled into her driveway.

When the woman refused to sit on the hood of a car as the officer insisted, the officer pulled her arms behind her back, slammed her stomach first into the vehicle three times and dragged her to his patrol car. He shoved her into the back seat and made her wait for about 30 minutes without air conditioning, the lawsuit said.

What a compassionate law enforcer he is.

And let's not forget these sex crimes:

more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

Remember who else investigated Arpaio? Hint: Pre-2009. Bigger hint: The Bush administration.

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Obama administration plans to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for targeting Latinos

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Please, DoJ, hand the Sheriff his hind quarters on a silver platter, once and for all:

(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday said it was preparing to sue Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department for violating civil rights laws by improperly targeting Latinos in a bid to crack down on illegal immigrants. [...]

"We believe that you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith," Roy Austin, deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's civil rights division, said in a letter to the lawyer for Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO). [...]

He added that the Justice Department has recently discovered more information about the "failure to reasonably investigate sex crimes" by Arpaio's office.

He must mean these sex crimes:

...more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

So who else investigated Arpaio? Hint: Pre-2009. Bigger hint: The Bush administration:

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office since June 2008 for alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and for having an English-only policy in his jails that discriminates against people with limited English skills.

This is a tweet I got today from one of my new Twitter trolls, @mbt1955isBACK:

@GottaLaff America Pray for Sheriff Joe , we need more like Sheriff Joe ! !

How about, instead, I pray that both @mbt1955isBACK and Arpaio get the mental health care they so badly need? Will that suffice?

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Feds to release findings in probe of AZ Sheriff Arpaio

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I hope this racist scumbag gets his saggy old butt handed to him. One thing I'd like to note for our Fox viewers out there, this investigation started under the Bush administration. More background at the links.

PHOENIX (AP) — Federal authorities plan to announce their findings Thursday in a civil rights investigation of an Arizona sheriff's office accused of using discriminatory tactics in its signature immigration patrols.

The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office since June 2008 for alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and for having an English-only policy in his jails that discriminates against people with limited English skills.

The self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has been a national political fixture who 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.

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DOJ Inspector General probing New Black Panther case

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Two Black Panthers standing outside a predominantly black polling place? Oh teh horror. Funny that Media Matters could get to the bottom of this with no problem, but the DOJ needs the Inspector General to do the same thing (and probably do a worse job and take longer). Josh has a good summary of the situation here too.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division — in the wake of the New Black Panther Party case — is being investigated by the department's office of inspector general to determine whether voting section employees have been harassed for participating in specific investigations or prosecutions.

In an end run around policy barring IG investigations of Justice Department litigators, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said his office will review what types of cases are being investigated, whether there have been changes in enforcement policies and procedures, and whether the civil rights laws are being enforced in a non-discriminatory manner.

Christopher Coates, the veteran Justice Department voting section chief who recommended going forward on the civil complaint against the New Black Panther Party, was removed from his post and transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina. New Black Panther Party members had disrupted a Philadelphia polling place in the November 2008 elections, one of whom intimidated would-be voters with a nightstick.

J. Christian Adams, the lead attorney in the case, resigned, citing what he called concerns about the Justice Department's refusal to prosecute the New Black Panther Party case after a federal judge in Philadelphia had ruled in favor of the government's case.

Mr. Adams accused Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. of dropping the charges for racially motivated reasons, saying that he and other Justice Department lawyers working on the case were ordered to dismiss it.

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