Joe Arpaio's "Community Liaison" Deputy Hector Martinez Finds Anti-Latino E-mails "Funny"
Martinez also explains how the image made him feel.
Martinez said he sees himself in this pic. No, um, really . . .
"Well, when I looked at it, I mean it symbolizes, you know, sometimes what we do," he states. "I mean as far as, you know, Mexicans falling over drunk and passing out, it symbolizes that, you know, it's happened to us. You know, it's happened to me, to friends that I have. So I find it funny."
Yet, Martinez says he would not circulate a joke like this, and that other MCSO deputies, as part of a "professional agency," should not do so as well.
Martinez says others might see "bias" in the photo, that it might seem to be "making fun of Hispanic people."
Martinez did forward one of the e-mails to his personal e-mail account. But there is no record he forwarded any of these e-mails to others.
Snow mentions the issue of the Community Liaison Officer briefly in his recent order, noting that the ACLU has raised objections about the choice of Martinez for the post of CLO.
The Injunction requires the Defendants to create a Community Outreach Program and appoint a Community Liaison Officer ("CLO"). The purpose of this program is "[t]o rebuild public confidence and trust" by requiring MCSO to "work to improve community relationships and engage constructively with the community."
Plaintiffs have expressed concerns about the deputy that Defendants chose as the Community Liaison Officer. Apparently he was a member of the Human Smuggling Unit ("HSU") that was central to this case. One of the issues that occupied some time at the trial concerned offensive cartoons that were circulated among the deputies of the HSU concerning persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
The deputy chosen as the CLO apparently received an offensive email that was being forwarded around the HSU and, as a result, was deposed in this action. In his deposition testimony he apparently testified [that] he considered the cartoon funny.
Without commenting on his merit as an employee or as a deputy, the Court can understand how such testimony in the course of the current litigation would lead the Plaintiffs to believe that the designated CLO would not be sensitive to their concerns in this matter and that the MCSO was insensitive to that realistic concern.
Accordingly, the parties are asked to submit the relevant portions of the transcript of that deputy's deposition prior to the Monday hearing.
For me at least, Martinez's work in targeting the Hispanic community is far more troubling than his comments regarding the e-mails. His work on the HSU and CES should be enough to disqualify him for the job.
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