DHS as of December 15, 2011 has terminated Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (“MCSO”’s) 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office access to the Secure Communities program.
According to DHS, “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is troubled by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) findings of discriminatory policing practices within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).” DHS
The Department of Justice (DOJ) also released its findings into this matter on December 15, 2011. The department found reasonable cause to believe that a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct and/or violations of federal law occurred in several areas, including:
- Discriminatory policing practices including unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Latinos;
- Unlawful retaliation against individuals exercising their First Amendment right to criticize MCSO’s policies or practices, including but not limited to practices relating to its discriminatory treatment of Latinos; anD
- Discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English proficiency by punishing them and denying them critical services.
DOJ also found that In addition to these formal pattern or practice findings, the investigation uncovered additional areas of serious concern, including:
- Use of excessive force;
- Police practices that have the effect of significantly compromising MCSO’s ability to adequately protect Latino residents; and
- Failure to adequately investigate allegations of sexual assaults.
See full findings: DOJ
The Immigrant Policy Center has stated that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is renowned for his “tough on immigration” media stunts, such as requiring detainees to wear pink underwear, segregating inmates, and marching shackled inmates to a tent city surrounded by an electric fence. IPC.
Maricopa County and Sheriff Arpaio have clearly gone too far in this case.