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May 10th, 2012
Grijalva Statement on DOJ Announcement of Suit Against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Over Multiple Civil Rights Violations

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) filing of a federal lawsuit against Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) for alleged civil rights violations. Last December, after a three-year investigation of MCSO, DOJ announced that it had found a pattern and practice of civil rights abuses, including extreme cases of racial profiling. Among other findings, the report noted that during the period in question, “Latino drivers were between four to nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.”

“Sheriff Arpaio has targeted the Latino community for years in violation of his sworn duties as a law enforcement officer. Instead of focusing on the job he was elected to do, he has spent untold taxpayer dollars building his personal reputation at the expense of his own community’s safety. The more than 400 sex crime cases he allowed to go uninvestigated were apparently not the end of his professional misconduct. Since this federal investigation began, he has shown profound disrespect not only for the people he serves, but for the federal officials who have tried in good faith to get simple answers to simple questions about his conduct. His disregard for duty and justice has eroded public trust in his office, and DOJ has rightly taken action to end the culture of profiling and retaliation he created at taxpayer expense.”

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