Joe Arpaio's New "Community Liaison" Officer Participated in MCSO Sweeps Targeting the Undocumented
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has announced the hiring of a new "community liaison" oficer, one of many reforms required by federal Judge G. Murray Snow's permanent injunction, issued October 2 in the ACLU's big racial-profiling lawsuit, Melendres v. Arpaio.
Deputy Hector Martinez is bilingual and a 10-year veteran of the department, the MCSO's website states. He is now assigned "to the Sheriff's new Court Compliance/Implementation Division."
"His duties are to respond to and communicate community concerns and suggestions directly to the Sheriff," reads the online notice. It adds that Martinez is "eager to respond to the concerns of the community" and can be reached via phone during business hours.
The notice omits Martinez's previous assignment with the MCSO: arresting undocumented Latinos (among others) caught in the very "sweeps" that Judge Snow addressed in May, when he found the MCSO guilty of prejudiced policing toward Hispanics and ordered an end to its racial profiling.
Indeed, it didn't take long for me to locate several photos of Martinez in an Arizona Republic slideshow of what looks to be a relatively early sweep.
The undated images show Martinez questioning a driver and taking two men into custody after they "admitted to being in the U.S. illegally from Mexico."
MCSO public relations folks confirmed to me that this was, in fact, the same Martinez and that his new assignment was made official on December 23.
A couple of other queries were fielded by MCSO spokesman Joaquin Enriquez.
His response to my questions is quoted below: