Do you believe you have been mistreated or wrongfully detained or arrested in Maricopa County? If so, you should be aware that the United States Justice Department has issued a report claiming that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s department engaged in conduct that is unconstitutional and violates federal law. The alleged conduct involves a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including:
- depriving prisoners of basis Constitutional rights;
- punishing Latino inmates for failing to understand commands issued in English;
- the use of racial slurs;
- arresting or detaining legal immigrants without cause;
- racial profiling, including the fact that Latinos are four to nine times as likely to be the subject of a traffic stop; and
- using excessive force.
In addition, the report alleges that some top staff members in the Sheriff’s Department have attempted to silence critics through arrests without probable cause, the filing of lawsuits without merit, and conducting investigations of those critics.
The report, which was issued this month after a three-year investigation, will require Arpaio’s office to institute anti-discriminatory policies to be monitored by a judge. He faces a deadline of January 4, 2012 to decide if he wants to come to an agreement with the Justice Department concerning the charges.
If you believe you have been unjustly detained, arrested, charged, or treated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer for help.