"The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit in federal court today
against Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and
Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, arising from unconstitutional and unlawful
actions by the defendants. ... The complaint alleges that Maricopa County, MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio
engaged in and continue to engage in a pattern or practice of:
Discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional law enforcement actions
against Latinos who are frequently stopped, detained and arrested on the
basis of race, color, or national origin;
Discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills; and
Illegal retaliation against their perceived critics, subjecting them to
baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits, or meritless
According to the complaint, since approximately 2006, MCSO and Sheriff
Arpaio have intentionally and systematically discriminated against
They have accomplished this by stopping Latinos in their
vehicles four to nine times more often than similarly situated
In addition, MCSO stops Latinos on the county’s roads without the required legal justification.
Also, MCSO detains and searches Latinos on the roads, in their
homes, and in their workplaces without legal justification for doing so.
Further, MCSO mistreats Latino detainees with limited English
proficiency by ignoring important requests if they are not made in
English and punishing detainees if they fail to understand orders given
in English." - DOJ, May 10, 2012.