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For someone who clearly believes that “illegal is illegal,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio just doesn’t seem to know what’s, well, illegal.
Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is, of course, the Arizona enforcer infamous for wide-ranging immigration sweeps involving machine guns and tanks and forcing pregnant women to give birth while handcuffed to bed. His obsessive pursuit of undocumented immigrants has been described as “Ahab-like,” and he has repeatedly demonstrated a fetish for humiliating people and treating immigrants as less than human.
This week, however, Arpaio and his deputies received one more rejoinder that racial profiling is indeed illegal.
From the Phoenix New Times today:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has just announced that it has reached a settlement in the federal lawsuit Mora v. Arpaio, one of the most egregious cases of ethnic and racial profiling to come out of Arpaio’s campaign of Hispanic-hunting sweeps and anti-immigrant raids on local businesses.
Arpaio’s lawyer Tim Casey today threw in the towel, essentially agreeing to a $200,000 payout to Julian and Julio Mora, the father and son zip-tied and held for three hours during a 2009 MCSO raid of the Phoenix landscaping firm Handyman Maintenance Inc., where the elder Mora worked.
Joe’s boys-in-beige were after illegal immigrants that day, but Julian Mora is a legal permanent resident. His son Julio is an American citizen.
But all that mattered to Arpaio’s goons was the Moras’ skin color. Because they were brown, sheriff’s deputies pulled over their truck as the elder Mora drove to work. They were zip-tied and laughed at when they asked to use the facilities.
Mora senior, who suffers from diabetes, was finally allowed to make water behind a parked vehicle. The junior Mora was allowed to go to the bathroom, but deputies refused to remove his zip-tie, and mocked him as he struggled to relieve himself.
The Moras had done nothing wrong, yet they were treated like criminals.