Yesterday, the DOJ filed a suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America’s self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff,” after infamous Joe decided to be his usual belligerent self. Sheriff Joe has refused to comply with the Department of Justice’s terms after he was found to have “engage[d] in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing” and had “a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations.”
According to Mother Mags at Daily Kos, Sheriff Arpaio is pleased with the lawsuit.
“I’m happy that we are being sued” she reports the Sheriff as saying, to which she comments “And so are we, Sheriff, but probably not for the same reason.”
(here’s a link to the video of his press conference: video link)
Others in the blogosphere weighed in.
The Daily Beast spoke with Thomas Perez, who is noted in the article as the “Obama administration’s top civil-right lawyer”:
“This isn’t about politics,” Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil-rights division of the Department of Justice, told The Daily Beast during an interview at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix. The lawsuit isn’t about money, either, he said. It’s about changing the culture in the sheriff’s office, putting in place “systems that improve the department and make the community safer.”
“This is about public safety,” said Perez. “It’s about the Constitution.”
The most disturbing allegations made by Team Perez center on violence against Latina women.
In one case, the suit says, a five-months’ pregnant American citizen was stopped as she pulled into her driveway. Officers ordered her to sit on the hood of her car. She refused. They slammed her into the car three times—fetus-side first. Next, they placed the woman in a patrol car without air conditioning for half an hour. She was released and cited with failure to provide identification. Later, the charge was changed to “failure to provide proof of insurance.”
I’m sure it’s true that not everyone who backs SB1070 and Joe Arpaio is a bigot. But I’m also sure that every bigot backs SB 1070 and Joe Arpaio. It looks as though his reign of terror may finally be coming to an end. Here’s hoping it doesn’t just open the door for another one exactly like him.
And, ThinkProgress weighs in with their Ten Most Disturbing Anti-Latino Practices Described By DOJ’s Lawsuit Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of which the top three are crimes against women:
- Forcing Women To Sleep In Their Own Menstrual Blood
- Assaulting Pregnant Women
- Stalking Latina Women
- Criminalizing Being a Latino
- Criminalizing Living Next to the Wrong People
- Ignoring Rape
- Widespread Use of Racial Slurs
- Widespread Racial Profiling
- Random, Unlawful Detention of Latinos
- Group Punishments for Latinos
Read the more detailed version here.