Opinions | Dec. 16, 2011 12:00 AM | Source: The Arizona Republic
This is not just about a clownish sheriff riding roughshod on undocumented immigrants.
The Justice Department's investigation into civil- rights violations at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office contains a stunning series of allegations against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's leadership and raises serious concerns about public safety.
The investigation began during the Bush administration. Despite what supporters of Arpaio say, it does not look like a witch hunt or a politically motivated attack.
The Justice Department found evidence of discrimination, retaliation and human- rights abuses that would violate the First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, as well as several federal laws.
"Since roughly 2007, in the course of establishing its immigration enforcement program, MCSO has implemented practices that treat Latinos as if they are all undocumented," a Justice Department report released Thursday says.