The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil-rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office after months of mounting complaints that deputies are discriminating in their enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Officials from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division notified Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday that they had begun the investigation, which will focus on whether deputies are engaging in “patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures.”
An expert said it is the department’s first civil-rights probe related to immigration enforcement.
… The Justice Department frequently receives racial-profiling complaints against police departments, but investigations are rare, said David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and racial-profiling expert.
“The fact that this has come to their attention and they have announced their intent to investigate is highly significant,” Harris said. “It says there is enough there to be investigated. It’s not an iffy case that (can be ignored).”
Harris said this is the first civil-rights investigation stemming from immigration enforcement. The probe could last several months.
You can read the notice here. [PDF file]
Sheriff Joe, of course, is a first-rate fucknugget. He won hard Arizona hearts with his tent city and his pink underwear, but he’s way overstepped bounds by turning Maricopa County into his own little fascist fiefdom.
Why, yes. Yes, I am evil. Whyever do you ask?