Can Arpaio's "Culture of Bias" Be Fixed? DOJ Reform Plan Involves Training and New Policies

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Back in the late 1990s, the Justice Department ordered Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to stop the physical and medical abuse of inmates in county jails.

The problems persist more than a decade later, despite the Department's stipulations for reform.

Today, the Justice Department ordered Arpaio to reform a "culture" of racial bias he created. Various remedial measures are demanded, with the threat of a lawsuit if Arpaio doesn't comply.

Such reform would take time -- if it occurs at all. The feds want Arpaio to commit to a regimen of training for deputies, form new policies, create statistical databases, and address complaints better.

As Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Perez made clear in his news conference this morning, the feds will work with Arpaio to solve the discrimination problems. Not against him.

No punitive measures are to be taken, despite evidence showing that Arpaio and his deputies knowingly commit racial profiling and retaliation against their critics.

"Less finger-pointing and more problem solving has been our approach," Perez said. "We're going to move forward." He offered the Los Angeles Police Department as an example. When civil rights abuses were identified there in the 1990s, he said, the Justice Department was asked whether it was trying to "change the unchangeable."

Using the authority of Title 42, Section 14141 of U.S. law, which deals with police departments with a "pattern and practice" of violating rights, the LAPD culture was "transformed," Perez said.

Perez was asked several times by reporters what could be done about Arpaio, whom Perez readily identified as the ringleader of the misconduct. The Justice Department official reiterated that the goal was to collaborate with the sheriff. Perez says he recognized that the "community was divided" in its opinion about Arpaio, but that it is "time to heal."

The Justice Department's plan demands that Arpaio "develop and implement:"

* Training for deputies on how not to violate civil rights.

* Better policies regarding its immigration sweeps and human smuggling enforcement.

* A computer system that will collect and track data related to traffic and immigration stops, searches and seizures, and worksite raids.

* An internal system that allows for the public and other law enforcement officers to complain about deputies violating civil rights, plus a better investigative process to deal with violators.

* A "comprehensive language-access program" for deputies who encounter limited English speakers.

* Better community outreach. "MCSO must engage with and reach out to Maricopa County's Latino residents to ensure that it is fairly and effectively providing them with law enforcement services."

Arpaio plans to respond to the findings at a 4 p.m. news conference.

Read the complete coverage:

Sheriff Arpaio's Office Commits Worst Racial Profiling in U.S. History, Expert Concludes in DOJ Investigation

Paul Babeu Doesn't Trust DOJ Report on Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Practices; Says Timing Is to Distract From "Fast and Furious"

Feathered Bastard: Joe Arpaio Hammered by Politicians, Activists Praising DOJ Report

See our past coverage of the DOJ investigations of Arpaio.
Read the full DOJ letter on the Arpaio investigation.

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I have a couple questions. I'm only 19, so I don't quite understand the whole situation. Please explain these as factually and objectively as possible. 1). If illegal immigrants are in the country illegally, how are you supposed to identify them without racially profiling? Isn't the point of coming to America to try and blend in as a citizen? 2). Because the official language of the United States is English (Texas is the only one that includes Spanish), why will officers be required to learn Spanish? I understand that it will help communication, but if you are an immigrant who is becoming a citizen or has a green card, aren't you required to take the citizenship test in English? So you would have to know at least enough English to be able to answer an officer's questions. Therefore, logically, couldn't the officers have probable cause to suspect that a person may not be in the country legally? Just a couple questions that I don't quite understand the reasoning behind... If anyone can help enlighten me, I would appreciate it. 


The only thing that will begin to fix this disgusting, cruel mess is for greaseball, his minions and their families who have profited and lived very comfortable lives off of MCSO sanctioned, complicit or participatory murders and other illegal acts under this deranged felon is for everyone one of these corrupt, criminal pieces of garbage and if necessary their families are remanded to Federal prison. Don't think for a minute that some of these family members did not know and have known that the money coming into their home was at the expense of covers up and criminality by greaseball and his buddies.


Get this POS Arpaio out of office!!!!,...Oh BTW him and Segal are fags they get off by watching Mexican males in pink under wear!!!,...


Blow Hard Joe does it again. He blames everyone else in the US for his incompetence. Give it up.


The AG is chicken shit. His broad generalizations regarding MCSO employee conduct is slanderous and a malicious attack on an entire group of propel because of the brown uniform that they wear. Using two isolated examples of two employee's actions and painting an entire organization racist is laughable.

Fuck you Mr Perez. You are a bigot. If you have balls then grab the culprit and prosecute him, but to villianize an entire group of people because your case is weak sauce is bullshit.


My prediction: The MCSO shurf will ignore the DOJ's request for compliance and taxpayers will, once again, be sued because of this mentally ill old man and his stubbornness.


LOL, Arpaio won't be spouting off "No one will tell me what I can or can't do" for well, at least 60 days anyways.

I want to see pictures of Arpaio getting training on how to really do the job of sheriff!


YP you got to lay off the Jack when you post. It really fucks with your usual intellectual repartee.

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