Phoenix, AZ. Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, may finally have crossed the line with the Department of Justice. Arpaio, known for his tough immigration stance has been under investigation for the past two years and has now been cut off from access to the immigration data base.
Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, said that over 400 interviews were conducted that revealed a pattern of abuse and harassment directed at the Latino population. In addition, sex crimes against Latinos were not investigated and the sheriff himself had distributed racially-charged literature, supported anti-immigrant candidates and acted with utter disregard and scorn towards the Latino community.
But it was Arpaio's telephone pranks that finally proved too much.
"Calling up bodegas repeatedly and asking if they have Prince Albert in a can and phoning people with Hispanic surnames during dinner and asking them if their refrigerator is running is just beyond the pale," said Perez. "There is a limit to the cruelty we will abide."
© 2011 Kona Lowell