DOJ Sues Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for Failure to Cooperate in Federal Investigation

Written by on September 2, 2010 in Enforcement, State and Local with 1 Comment

Today, the Department of Justice filed suit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his refusal to hand over documents in an ongoing federal investigation into allegations of discriminatory practices based on a person’s national origin (racial profiling) and unconstitutional searches and seizures. According to the Arizona Republic, “the lawsuit comes after weeks of back-and-forth letters between the agencies, threats to strip the county of federal funding, and a meeting in Washington last week among attorneys to discuss the investigation.” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, called Sheriff Arpaio’s actions “unprecedented” and is “unaware of any other police department or sheriff’s office that has refused to cooperate in the last 30 years.”

True to form, Sheriff Arpaio—known for his anti-immigrant enforcement antics—responded that he’s not going to be intimidated by the federal government’s lawsuit. According to the Associated Press, Arpaio had until August 17 to hand over documents the DOJ asked for 15 months ago. Watch Arpaio’s response:

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