Latino leaders tire of waiting for DOJ to act on Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Justice Department officials have had some tough words for Sheriff Joe Arpaio in recent months. They’ve accused him of civil rights abuses, threatened him with a lawsuit and leaked angry letters saying that they’ve run out of patience with him.
But amid it all, some of the very people the Justice Department claims to speak for in their civil rights probe of the Arizona lawman have told TPM they have little faith the federal government will come through for them. Not even a massive lawsuit, they said, will ease their skepticism.
“We’ve been frustrated with the pace of it from the beginning,” said Salvador Reza, a longtime immigrant rights activist in Phoenix. “Even if they file a civil rights lawsuit, you’re still talking about months, years.”
Reza was one of the people whose case was highlighted in a report released by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in December.
The report identified him only by the pseudonym “C.C.,” but it said he was arrested without cause by Arpaio’s deputies in July 2010 as retaliation for organizing protests against the sheriff.
Investigators with the civil rights division began looking into Arpaio’s office in 2008 under then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey. The probe started after DOJ received complaints that the sheriff’s office was abusing the civil rights of Latinos in the Phoenix area, in part because swarms of deputies were being sent into heavily Latino areas on what Arpaio called “crime suppression operations.”
Read the full story at Talking Points Memo