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ACLU Sues Sheriff Joe for Racial Profiling, Worksite Detentions

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:24 PM
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ACLU Sues Sheriff Joe for Racial Profiling, Worksite Detentions

Saturday August 22 1:59 pm

Inmates walk after being ordered by Maricopa County Sheriff Officer Joe Arpaio (R) to be placed into new housing to open up new beds for maximum security inmates on April 17, 2009 in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and several of his deputies are facing a lawsuit claiming they illegally arrested, transported and detained a U.S. citizen and a permanent legal resident at a worksite in Phoenix, Ariz., where deputies were conducting an immigration raid.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona filed the suit August 19 on behalf of Julian Mora, 66, and his son Julio, 19.

The incident took place on February 11, when Julio Mora was driving his dad to work. According to the suit, just 100 yards from where the elder Mora worked at landscaping business Handyman Maintenance, Inc. (HMI), a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office vehicle cut in front of pick-up truck on a busy public road, forcing Mora to slam on his brakes. Another MCSO SUV flanked the truck.

Two deputies ordered the father and son to get out. They were frisked and restrained with tight plastic zip-tie handcuffs and taken to Mora's workplace, the site of the raid. The two joined over 100 others who were corralled into an area that was said to resemble a heavily guarded armed camp with men wearing masks and carrying semi-automatic rifles.

"Their situation was extremely unique. One of the most egregious aspects to the Moras is the fact that they were not on the worksite. They were stopped and racially profiled during a routine traffic stop, then brought to the worksite. That makes it particularly more problematic and harder for the county to justify," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the Arizona ACLU.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, challenges the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) deputies with violating the U.S. Constitution's Fourth and the Fourteenth Amendments which guarantee equal protection and freedom from unreasonable search and seizures and unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and/or national origin. (For an In These TImes feature story on Sheriff Arpaio and his actions, go here.)

FULL story at link.

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. I wish I could recommend this 100 times.
Arpaio is such a piece of shit.

Though I hate to wish higher taxes on anyone when it just goes to pay for Arpaio's lawsuit, I hope the ACLU nails him for billion$$. The voters of Maricopa County who have continued to elect this scumbag deserve to pay the damages. Unfortunately, not every voter in Maricopa County did so, and those who voted against him will have to pay, too. Unfortunately.

Tansy Gold, who spent 20 years in Maricopa County
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Somehow, I think Sherrif Joe NEVER EVER eats at a Mexican
restaurant in Phoenix.

Just a guess.

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Learning Nomad Donating Member (94 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Arpaio must focus more on county, less on his ego
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has gloried in a swashbuckling style and publicity stunts since the moment he took office as Maricopa County's top cop in 1993. Pink underwear for inmates. Green bologna at meals. Chain gangs, men and women, working in jail stripes.

His approach to law enforcement is over the top. And through the years, as reporter Dan Nowicki documents in today's The Arizona Republic, critics say the sheriff has gone further and further over the line.

If the sheriff's job were nothing more than a popularity contest, Arpaio would be effective. He's won five elections.

But Arpaio is falling short of what the county needs: efficient, evenhanded law enforcement, overseen by someone intent on serving the residents of Maricopa County, not his own ego.

Arpaio's tenure has been marked by costly lawsuits, questionable investigations of local officials and a lack of focus on some basic duties, such as warrants.

As Nowicki's report demonstrates, the line seems to be getting blurred between aggressive and abusive, between tough and vindictive.

The Justice Department is checking out allegations of racial profiling in Arpaio's controversial "sweeps" for illegal immigrants. The Labor Department is looking at whether county detention officers were wrongfully denied overtime pay - an issue that was raised two years ago. Sources say the FBI has interviewed public officials and employees over possible abuse of power.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Their situation was extremely unique." This, from an educated person.
Pet peeve.
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