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DOJ Suit Shows Sheriff Joe Arpaio Not Above the Law

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As AVEF Backgrounder Documents, Arpaio Approach to Law Enforcement is Ineffective and Worthy of Full Investigation

Washington, DC – Today news broke that the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio to compel him to turn over documents needed for the federal government’s civil rights investigation.  Arpaio has denied investigators access to this information for a year and a half.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund: “Sheriff Joe Arpaio has operated above the law for too long, with disastrous consequences for community policing and public safety.  It’s unfortunate that the Justice Department has to take this step and force Arpaio to comply with a federal civil rights investigation, but we commend the Department for doing so.  If Sheriff Arpaio has nothing to hide, he should have no problem turning over these documents.” 

As a recent backgrounder on Arpaio makes clear, Sheriff Arpaio has a long history of disregarding the law and playing politics with the issue of illegal immigration.  The American people and the citizens of Maricopa County deserve his compliance with an investigation that proceeds above the political fray and without obstruction.

America’s Voice Education Fund’s examination of Sheriff Joe’s record shows that his high-profile tactics have resulted in higher crime rates, thousands of lawsuits, millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses, felony warrants going unserved, and a reversal of the community policing strategies that have proved successful to police across the nation.  As a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the East Valley Tribune found, “Response times, arrest rates, investigations and other routine police work throughout Maricopa County have suffered over the past two years as Sheriff Joe Arpaio turned his already short-handed and cash-strapped department into an immigration enforcement agency.”  Violent crime is down across the state of Arizona, but not in Maricopa County under Sheriff Arpaio.  From 2002 to 2009, while the violent crime rate across the state as a whole decreased by 12 percent, the area policed by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office suffered a 58 percent increase in violent crime.

“The Arpaio approach to law enforcement is divisive, dangerous, and un-American.  We applaud the Department of Justice for pursuing the facts and not letting his defiance go unanswered,” concluded Tramonte.     

America’s Voice Education Fund Backgrounder on Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Chart Showing How Crime Rates Under Arpaio Have Increased.

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.