Arpaio Gets an Overseer

Fascist Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is getting a federal watchdog, which can only be a good thing for everyone but him. A federal judge ordered the appointment of an overseer to monitor his departments conduct after decades of misconduct and abuse.

On August 30th, 2013 Federal Judge Murray Snow announced in a court hearing that he will appoint a Federal monitor to oversee Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department. Maricopa County, located in Arizona, is the home of the infamous Sherriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio’s office has been the subject of ongoing state and federal civil rights law suits. The most recent hearing was part of an on-going class action lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Arpaio. In earlier hearings Judge Snow ruled that Arpaio’s office had violated the civil rights of Arizona’s Latino population, by instituting policies which led to widespread targeting of citizens based on racial profiling…

Court documents filed by attorney’s from the Department of Justice cite pages of evidence of physical abuse, purposeful humiliation and unlawful detainment carried out by the Sheriff’s agents, against the Latino population. For example, the documents cite the case of a pregnant woman who was repeatedly slammed against a vehicle (stomach first) by law enforcement offices. A second describes how a father and his twelve-year-old son who were zip tied and forced to sit by the side of the road for an hour. Each of these targeted individuals were law-abiding citizens of the United States.

The appointment of a Federal Monitor will ensure that Maricopa County law enforcement personnel comply with United States law. Part of the monitor’s duties will be to oversee the training of law enforcement in regards to civil and constitutional rights.

Arpaio is screaming like a bad actress in a horror movie, of course. I can’t imagine why anyone would care. It’s about time someone seriously reined in that imperious dictator.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • colnago80

    It’s about time someone seriously reined in that imperious dictator.

    It’s about time that the voters of that jurisdiction gave him the bum’s rush.

  • Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Fascist Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is getting a federal watchdog, which can only be a good thing for everyone but him.

    Do we know the watchdog actually has some teeth?

  • dingojack

    This ‘overseer’ – isn’t called Simon Legree by any chance?

    Dingo

  • badgersdaughter

    The worst thing I could possibly wish on him is for him to have to be subjected to the same horrific treatment he subjected his charges to.

  • wscott

    Personally I think it’s high time we re-think the whole idea of elected Sheriffs. As I understand it, it’s weird holdover from English Common Law, which the English – and most of the rest of the world – jettisoned decades ago.

  • bahrfeldt

    Since various wingnuts are demanding that prisoners pay for their “room” and board and have forced lifelong voters to pay for mandated photo ids and welfare assistance applicants to pay for mandated drug tests, shouldn’t we get Arpaio to pay for his “watchdog”. Full salary, all direct and indirect expenses, of course.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    badgersdaughter “The worst thing I could possibly wish on him is for him to have to be subjected to the same horrific treatment he subjected his charges to.”

    Now you’re just being ridiculous. He’s not even Hispanic.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I can’t imagine why anyone would care.

    I care — not least because I live in Maricopa county — but mostly because I enjoy the sound of chickens coming home to roost. It may not be justice, but it’s at least in the right direction.

    And thus the sound of his weeping brings a smile to my face.

  • D. C. Sessions

    shouldn’t we get Arpaio to pay for his “watchdog”. Full salary, all direct and indirect expenses, of course.

    Close, anyway — it’s coming out of his budget. In other words, my pocket.

    Money well spent, though — it’s almost certain to seriously reduce the damages from future suits. So far, Joe has racked up something on the order of $100 million and counting.

  • left0ver1under

    A federal judge ordered the appointment of an overseer to monitor his departments conduct after decades of misconduct and abuse.

    Charges for violence, misconduct and abuse are the least of Arpaio’s worries. Just because the investigation of Arpaio ended in 2012 does not mean he’s innocent. More likely, those investigating were put under pressure to stop looking. If his offices ever had an independent financial audit, he’d very likely be in one of his own tent prisons.

    “Privatization” of US prisons is creating – and encouraging – financial fraud and kickbacks. I can’t find a link to cite, but I’ve read how wardens and administrators are allowed to profit from “savings” on prison budgets – whatever costs they reduce, they get a percentage from. That’s a system that encourages abuse.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-07-05-prison-probe_x.htm

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/08/private_prisons

    there’s been a similar surge in private prison construction as the inmate population has tripled between 1987 and 2007: Inmates in private prisons now account for 9% of the total US prison population, up from 6% in 2000.” […] Some experts contend that firms in the prison business reap profits by billing government for rather more than their initial lowball estimates while scrimping in ways that may make prisons less secure.

    http://www.nae.net/resources/news/953-unjust-prison-phone-rates

    If prison wardens were evaluated and paid based on the success of their alumni after release, they would be the first to work for lower phone rates. In fact, they would provide free phone calls and would require their inmates to call and write home regularly. They would embrace family members as essential partners in rehabilitation.

    Alas, prison administrators now face the perverse incentive of legalized kickbacks that actually reward their budgets when they raise phone rates to extortionate levels.

    http://pmc.iath.virginia.edu/text-only/issue.102/12.2.r_pitofsky.txt

    Hallinan notes that a single prison pay phone can earn its owner as much as $12,000 per year. According to a study commissioned by AT&T, American inmates spend $1 billion per year on long-distance calls. Instead of limiting this corporate windfall, state regulatory agencies have forged profitable business partnerships with the phonecompanies:

    AT&T and its competitors learned that the way to get inmates as customers was to give the prison a legal kickback: on a one-dollar phone call, the prison might make forty or fifty cents. In no time, corrections departments became phone-call millionaires.

  • grumpyoldfart

    If the local coppers have got to the stage where they can openly slam pregnant women stomach first into the side of a car then it will take more than a monitor to change things. My guess is that the violence will escalate but it will be less public than before.

  • eric

    Joe has racked up something on the order of $100 million and counting.

    I know Ed advocates all officers wear cameras, but that may not be necessary here. It sounds like soon, every officer’s going to be trailing their own personal ambulance chaser. With numbers like that, his office has got to be one of the largest sources of legal fees in the state.

  • neonsequitur

    Arpaio really would be better off in a different locale with fewer hispanics. I hear there’s a little town in rural Pennsylvania that might be looking for a new sheriff soon….

  • aluchko

    Why is Arpaio not in jail? It sounds like he’s actually misused funds and kept fraudulent financial books, surely those are criminal acts and some federal agency should be able to just walk in an arrest him. I guess it’s the classic case of a politician being allowed to break the law if they’re open about it but people should really be pushing for some kind of law enforcement agency to go after him personally.


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