NCLR Calls for Resignation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
February 02 2012
Leticia de la Vara,
National Hispanic civil rights organization joins local and state voices in demanding that Arpaio be held accountable for discrimination against Latinos
PHOENIX—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) today called on Joe Arpaio to resign from his position as Sheriff of Maricopa County, representing the first national organization to join a growing chorus of local and state leaders and community activists to demand that Arpaio step down immediately. A U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report released in December documented the discriminatory practices carried out against Latinos by the sheriff’s office under his leadership.
“NCLR calls on Joe Arpaio to resign as Sheriff of Maricopa County,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “This isn’t personal, it’s about performance. The Department of Justice’s findings confirm that Arpaio has created a hostile climate for Latinos—citizens and noncitizens alike. But numerous reports also confirm that Arpaio has endangered the safety of every resident of Maricopa County by failing in his basic obligation to effectively enforce the law. By any measure, he should go.”
“As a lifelong resident of Arizona and someone who has engaged the department in litigation, I know the damage that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has done to our community,” added Daniel R. Ortega Jr., a Phoenix attorney and Chair of the NCLR Board of Directors. “Any doubt that the sheriff’s office engages in unlawful and unconstitutional racial profiling of Latinos was erased by the DOJ’s report. Arpaio must step down from his position and allow new leadership to repair the damage done and restore public confidence in local law enforcement.”
NCLR has previously denounced the treatment of Latinos by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) under Arpaio. According to the DOJ report, the discriminatory practices of his office against Hispanics has included unlawful stops, detentions, and arrests of Latinos, as well as discriminatory treatment of Hispanic inmates who speak limited English and were therefore punished and denied critical services. The DOJ said that it has reason to believe that under the leadership of Sheriff Arpaio, MCSO has engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that violates federal law, confirming that MCSO’s practices unfairly target and discriminate against Latinos.
We know several community leaders in Arizona have made their voices heard and are calling for Arpaio’s resignation, including Citizens for a Better Arizona, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox; Respect Respeto, a local nonprofit organization; Los Abogados, the Arizona Hispanic Bar Association; Asian Chamber of Commerce; Asian Pacific Community in Action; State Senator Steve Gallardo; Phoenix Councilmen Michael Johnson and Michael Nowakowski; local clergy members; and the local chapters of the National Urban League and NAACP.
“NCLR is very proud to stand with the courageous individuals and organizations in Arizona who have called on Arpaio to step down,” said Murguía. “The voices calling for change and a restoration of civility and fairness in Phoenix are diverse, they are bipartisan, and they are growing stronger.”
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