The Justice Department on Thursday accused Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating constitutional and civil rights in a “pattern of misconduct” that involved targeting and mistreating Latinos.
The Obama administration’s report found there was “reasonable cause” to believe Arpaio was involved in discriminatory policing practices, such as unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Hispanics; discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited proficiency in English by punishing them and denying certain services; and unlawful retaliation against individuals criticizing the office’s practices.
Arpaio, an elected sheriff known for his tough treatment of inmates, has been highly sought-after in the conservative community for his tough-on-crime and tough-on-immigration credentials. Last month, the sheriff endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president.