Joe Arpaio's "Community Liaison" and the Bigoted MCSO E-mails in Melendres
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's newly appointed "community liaison" officer Hector Martinez received e-mails during his time with the MCSO's notorious Human Smuggling Unit from other MCSO employees that contained offensive photos and videos demeaning Mexicans and other Latinos.
The e-mails, one of which Martinez forwarded to his home address, speak to the culture of bigotry that was allowed to permeate the Sheriff's Office, as Arpaio transformed his agency in the 2000s into one dedicated to hunting undocumented Hispanics.
Unearthed during the discovery phase of the ACLU's big racial-profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio, the e-mails were submitted to the court in 2011 by the plaintiffs as evidence of the MCSO's racial and ethnic bias.
Federal Judge G. Murray Snow cited the e-mails in a footnote to his 142-page decision in May of this year, essentially finding the MCSO guilty of prejudiced policing and ordering that the practice cease.
One of those forwarded to several MCSO deputies in 2008, including Martinez, was described as a "rare photo" of a "Mexican Navy SEAL."
It showed a Chihuahua in scuba gear.
Another, which Martinez forwarded in 2005 to his private e-mail (as identified to me by MCSO flack Lisa Allen), was titled "Guadalupe Handgun revision" and contained an .mpg file of a video titled "Hispanic Shooting Range."
The pic of the "Mexican Navy SEAL"
An 11-second video of the same title exists online and shows two men walking a car door through a firing range as one yells, "Hey, puto!" and fires off a few rounds from a handgun.
It's worth noting that Martinez was once a deputy in the tiny town of Guadalupe, according to the MCSO.
Guadalupe is largely Mexican-American and Native American. Court records show that Martinez participated in an infamous immigration sweep of the town in 2008.