DOJ accuses controversial sheriff in Arizona of discrimination

The Department of Justice sued controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Thursday, accusing him and his office of engaging in "unlawful discriminatory police conduct" against Hispanic people in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Arpaio has boasted of his efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants. As a result, Hispanic people are more likely to be stopped, detained and arrested, the lawsuit states.

“At its core, this is an abuse of power case involving Sheriff Arpaio and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices, and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics in a variety of unlawful ways,” Thomas E. Perez, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at DOJ, said in a press release.

Native Americans make up about 2 percent of the population in the county. Though not mentioned in the lawsuit, members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe say they have been targeted by Arpaio for looking Hispanic.

Get the Story:
U.S. sues Arpaio's office over treatment of Latinos (The Arizona Republic 5/11)
Lawsuit Says Sheriff Discriminated Against Latinos (The New York Times 5/11)

Related Stories:
Pascua Yaquis targeted for looking 'Mexican' (4/4)

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