America’s most infamous sheriff, Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, was just found in contempt of court for his refusal to end unconstitutional racial profiling policies that targeted Hispanics and other racial minorities.

Arpaio, who is 85 years old, will be sentenced in October.

Six-term sheriff Arpaio gained notoriety for “crime suppression sweeps” that rounded up Hispanics and suspected illegal immigrants en masse. He was ordered to stop by a court in 2011, but he continued to run his racist sweeps for another 18 months so he could burnish his xenophobic credibility for his re-election campaign.

Arpaio tried to argue that he had violated the order “unintentionally,” but it appears the judge didn’t buy that obvious excuse.

As sheriff, he was accused of a wide number of crimes, including “abuse of power, misuse of funds, failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, and election law violations.”

He set up what he himself referred to as a “concentration camp” for prisoners and established an armed anti-illegal immigration militia to help patrol the border. He also failed to investigate 32 child molestation cases because the victims were the children of illegal immigrants.

We can only hope that judge makes an example out of Arpaio and makes it clear to law enforcement agencies across the nation that this kind of heinous institutionalized racism and callous disregard for the rule of law will not be tolerated by our independent judiciary.


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