Joe Arpaio's Admission of Guilt after Meeting with DOJ

Early on, MacIntyre dismissed the report as pure bunk, claiming that there were "no specific allegations" in it, a statement belied by the reporting of this paper and every other news outlet that's looked into allegations that the MCSO targets Latinos in its hunt for illegal immigrants.

But to judge by this new MCSO statement, the "saber rattling" and the DOJ's report in December, finding that the MCSO had engaged in racial-profiling on a massive scale, have at least forced the MCSO to act like it's going to comply. 

The DOJ found, among other things, that, "Latino drivers are four-to-nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers," that a fifth of all immigration-related traffic stops by the MCSO violated the U.S. Constitution, and that Spanish-speakers in Joe's jails were discriminated against in a systematic fashion.

As Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey pointed out in his recent commentary, "Coddling Joe: How Do You Collaborate With a Felon?," racial profiling is a felony. So, too, is operating under the color of law to deprive an individual of his or her constitutional rights.

The DOJ report took note of Arpaio's retaliation against his critics and political enemies, though the report was issued by the department's Civil Rights Division, which is seeking a "civil" remedy to Arpaio's years of abuse.

But what about Arpaio's alleged criminal activities? What about the federal grand jury that had been impaneled as far back as late 2009 to probe the MCSO's abuse of power violations? 

Why haven't there been indictments on the lawbreaking that's been going on, some of which has been outed by whistle-blowers in Arpaio's own office? 

Until the U.S. Attorney's Office seeks those indictments, we can have no faith in any sort of negotiated settlement, wherein Arpaio promises to behave himself. Or more accurately, wherein his flunkies make that promise for him. 

The role of a prosecutor is not to let the guilty get off with a promise. It's to put criminals behind bars. And if the DOJ can't stomach the job, then it should seriously consider dropping that word  "justice" from its name.


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