Feds looking into possible civil rights violations
The federal investigation into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office took U.S. government officials to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office in the Wells Fargo Building Thursday morning.
At least half a dozen investigators with the U.S. Justice Department arrived at Arpaio’s downtown Phoenix office about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
The Justice Department officials announced last month that they would launch a civil rights investigation into allegations that Arpaio’s deputies violated the constitutional rights of citizens during crime-enforcement operations.
Arpaio bragged about the pending visit to a crowd at a breakfast hosted by Councilwoman Thelda Williams in north Phoenix last week.
“This is a badge of honor,” Arpaio said of the investigation. “We don’t racial profile, so let them come down. I welcome them. We are not giving in to them.”
The visitors, whose names were on the sheriff’s log book, include:
Elizabeth Keenan, a deputy section chief with the department; Patrick Chang, a deputy chief in the department’s civil-rights division; and Shanetta Cutlar, the chief of the special litigation section.