Federal Judge Rules That Arpaio and Maricopa County Officers Racially Profiled Latinos

This just in from AZ Central:

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The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has engaged in racial profiling and must not use Hispanic ancestry as a factor when making law-enforcement decisions, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued the ruling Friday, more than eight months after a seven-day trial on the subject concluded. The trial examined longstanding allegations that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s emphasis on immigration enforcement led deputies to target Latino drivers based on their race, and that by doing so, they violated the constitutional rights of Maricopa County residents and the sheriff’s own policies requiring constitutional policing.

Snow’s ruling will likely be appealed, as both sides promised throughout the trial to challenge whatever decision Snow rendered. However, Arpaio’s attorney said he was still reviewing the ruling Friday afternoon.

Dan Pochoda of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling “a real vindication for the community. It was a terrific win — it was a very solid, comprehensive piece of work, and clearly demonstrated the unconstitutionality from top to bottom at MCSO for many years.”

The class of Hispanic citizens that brought the racial-profiling lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office never sought monetary damages. Instead, the group asked for the court to issue injunctions barring Arpaio’s office from discriminatory policing.

Snow obliged — and indicated more remedies could be ordered in the future.

As Snow himself wrote:

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW – that Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief necessary to remedy the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations caused by MCSO’s past and continuing operations.
The MCSO is thus permanently enjoined from:

  1. Detaining, holding or arresting Latino occupants of vehicles in Maricopa County based on a reasonable belief, without more, that such persons are in the country without authorization.
  2. Following or enforcing its LEAR policy against any Latino occupant of a vehicle in Maricopa County.
  3. Using race or Latino ancestry as a factor in determining to stop any vehicle in Maricopa County with a Latino occupant.
  4. Using race or Latino ancestry as a factor in making law enforcement decisions with respect to whether any Latino occupant of a vehicle in Maricopa County may be in the country without authorization.
  5. Detaining Latino occupants of vehicles stopped for traffic violations for a period longer than reasonably necessary to resolve the traffic violation in the absence of reasonable suspicion that any of them have committed or are committing a violation of federal or state criminal law.
  6. Detaining, holding or arresting Latino occupants of a vehicle in Maricopa County for violations of the Arizona Human Smuggling Act without a reasonable basis for believing that, under all the circumstances, the necessary elements of the crime are present.
  7. Detaining, arresting or holding persons based on a reasonable suspicion that they are conspiring with their employer to violate the Arizona Employer Sanctions Act.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED setting a hearing at which the above matters will be discussed for Friday, June 14, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 602, Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Federal Courthouse, 401 W. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona 85003-2151. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 5/24/2013. (KMG) (Entered: 05/24/2013)

Univision News Secret Camera Reveals How Possible Racial Profiling Can Be in Arizona

Today, Univision News, in partnership with ABC News, produced a report showing one of its producers being pulled over in Maricopa County for 'impeding traffic."

 

Or was it for "driving while Mexican?" You decide. Here is the video report. What do you think?

Maricopa County Voting Problems Featured on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show

Last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow covered the current voting issues in Arizona, specifically two races that have gained national attention: Sheriff Joe Arpaio's re-election bid and the Senate race between Republican Jeff Flake and Democrat Richard Carmona.

In case you missed if, here is what Maddow had to say last night.

Noticiero Univision Misleads Viewers with Headline of “KKK Members” Celebrating Arpaio Win

Today, the video section of Noticiero Univision posted a report with a headline that read "Members of the Klu Klux Klan Celebrate Arpaio's Victory." As we watched the video, the reporter kept saying that the members allegedly were part of the KKK and never really reported that they were actually members. Throughout the video we see a black woman expressing her outrage for what the four hooded people were doing, as well as others' anger.

However, the most important part of the story—that the hooded people were Latino and that maybe, just maybe, they were protesting Joe Arpaio's re-election as sheriff of Maricopa County—was revealed at the end. Sorry, Noticiero Univision, your title truly misled viewers. That is just poor reporting. The next time, report a headline that actually tells what the story is about? Here is the video. What do you think?

Battling a Flu in the Middle of July, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Takes the Stand in Civil Rights Case

Today in Phoenix, America's Self-Proclaimed Greatest Sheriff, 80-year-old Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, took the stand in a racial profiling federal case against his sheriff's office. According to local accounts, Arpaio claimed he was battling the flu, the same type of illness that Arpaio said he had last year when he participated in hearings that "resulted in the disbarment of former County Attorney Andrew Thomas."

Here is what AZ Central reported today about Arpaio's testimony:

The testimony drew from interviews Arpaio gave to journalists, statements he made at public meetings and passages printed in his own autobiography. The questioning by Stanley Young, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, also focused heavily on correspondence about illegal immigration that Arpaio constantly receives from constituents, and how the sheriff responds.

The case alleges that the Sheriff's Office engaged in institutional discrimination against Latinos when it embarked on what has become the defining mission of Arpaio's 19-year tenure: immigration enforcement. Over the past six years, Arpaio has made it his hallmark, but his efforts have been met by accusations — by citizens, activists and the U.S. Justice Department — that his agency has engaged in racial profiling and discrimination.

Young and the plaintiffs contend that the sheriff's immigration-enforcement efforts are in part driven by a strategy that connects being Mexican and being day laborers with being illegal immigrants, and uses reports of day-labor activity — which is not illegal — to justify immigration raids.

Many of the constituent letters Young cited requested the sheriff's presence in a Valley community after a resident of complained of feeling harassed or intimidated by gatherings of Hispanic men.

One in particular, from a woman in Queen Creek, asked Arpaio to increase deputies' presence in the Southeast Valley community after a group of Hispanic men "jeered" at her and whistled at teenage girls.

"There is no crime described in this email chain, is that right?" Young asked Arpaio. Arpaio, who insisted his deputies do not arrest people for standing on street corners, said the sheriff's subsequent immigration sweep in Queen Creek could not be directly related to the letter.

"When I send these letters, it doesn't mean I agree with them or to have anybody take action, I just send this information to my subordinates so they can look at it," Arpaio said. "So I don't agree with every letter that I receive." 

The Phoenix New Times posted its account of the morning testimony. Here is an excerpt:

Following testimony earlier in the morning from a deputy, Arpaio took the stand, starting off with the disclaimer that he had a touch of the flu. The sheriff didn't appear to be at his sharpest as he struggled to flip through binders to find various exhibits.

Under pointed questioning by Young, Arpaio denied that he equated brown-skinned people with illegal immigrants, as a press release from 2007 demonstrates he did. Young took time to go over a letter received by Arpaio from an anti-immigrant group in which Arpaio had emphasized statements about how police shouldn't be afraid to check the status of day laborers. And Young played a video from another press conference in which Arpaio said he'd have a "pure" program that went after illegal immigrants first, and their suspected crimes second.

But the sheriff made his worst impressions while answering questions about his book, Joe's Law.

Basically, anytime Arpaio was shown some of the blatant bigotry in that book, he blamed it on co-author Len Sherman. And this was despite being read back his testimony from a previous deposition in which he'd said he didn't need to read his own book because he'd written it himself.

Arpaio was forced by Young to back off from a couple of statements in the book, including one in which he wrote that Mexicans don't come to the United States with the same hopes and dreams as people from other countries.. In another part of the book, Young pointed out, Arpaio wrote that second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans were not part of the American "mainstream."

"My co-author wrote that," Arpaio blurted out.

The New York Times was also at the trial and basically corroborated what the New Times reported:

Sheriff Arpaio, grim as an undertaker in a black suit and red tie, gave subdued and occasionally testy responses as the incriminating exhibits were presented, one after another. Yes, he admitted, that was me saying that my office was “quickly becoming a full-fledged anti-illegal immigration agency.” That was me saying that our crackdown was a “pure program to go after the illegals and not the crime first.” That was me saying that most of the Mexicans we arrested were potential swine-flu carriers. That was me telling John Sanchez of CNN and Glenn Beck that we can tell people are illegal immigrants based on the clothes they wear and how they talk.

On a few occasions the sheriff said: No, that wasn’t me. Like, for instance, when the lawyer read a section from the 2008 book “Joe’s Law: America’s Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegal Immigration, Drugs, and Everything Else That Threatens America,” by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in which the sheriff, an Italian-American who grew up in Springfield, Mass., reminisced about his Italian immigrant parents.

The section begins: “My parents, like all other immigrants exclusive of those from Mexico, held to certain hopes and truths.” It goes on to state that Mexicans refuse to assimilate and are immigration lawbreakers to an “astonishing” degree.

Sheriff Arpaio, on the stand, backed away from his book and blamed his ghostwriter. I believe that the co-author was talking about the proximity of Mexico, he said.

The lawyer then drew attention to the rest of the excerpt, in which the sheriff said that second- and third-generation Mexican immigrants have maintained identities “separate from the American mainstream.”

For someone as invested in his image as Sheriff Arpaio, the questioning must have been acutely embarrassing.

Q. Who put that in your book?

A. My co-author.

Q. Is that your view?

A. No, it isn’t.

“Would you agree with me that the American dream is for everyone?” the lawyer asked.

“Yes,” said the sheriff, sounding chastened.

In the meantime, outside the courtroom today, four protesters were arrested. AZ Central covered it here and a YouTube video was published.

Here is what AZ Central reported about the arrests:

Those arrested are undocumented immigrants from Mexico who came to the United States with their families, according to Tania Unzueta of the National Day Labor Organizing Network, which helped organize the protest. T

hree of them – Leticia Ramirez, 27, Isela Meraz, 28, Natally Cruz, 24 – were 9 and younger when they arrived in the United States, Unzueta said, and Miguel Guerra, 37, was in his late teens when he arrived in 1994.

Each of them will likely face a misdemeanor charge of failure to obey law enforcement's orders, according to Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department.

Yes, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Did Indeed Spend Taxpayer Money for Obama Birther Investigation

First of all, kudos to Channel 12 in Phoenix for accessing the expense reports from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and reporting the fact that taxpayer money was used by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "Cold Case Posse" to travel to Hawaii and investigate the birth of President Barack Obama.

Here is the report filed yesterday.

Basically, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors rejected the use of private funds to offset these expenses. Here is what Arizona's top newspaper reported:

The Board of Supervisors, in a split vote Wednesday, declined to accept private funds to offset the costs, with the Sheriff's Office claiming in the aftermath of a rancorous debate that politics guided the supervisors' decision.

The two supervisors who voted against accepting the funds, Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, were both the subjects of sheriff's investigations in the past and have filed claims against the Sheriff's Office and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas alleging wrongful prosecution.

"They're letting their politics hurt taxpayers," said Lisa Allen, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office. "We said we weren't using taxpayer money. We're trying to live up to our end of the bargain, and they're trying to keep the sheriff from living up to his end of the deal. That's bad business."

Supervisors Andy Kunasek and Max Wilson voted to accept the private funds, while Supervisor Fulton Brock was absent from the meeting and did not vote. Allen said the agency will try again to get the board to accept the donations, intended to defray some of the roughly $9,600 in salary, benefits and travel expenses the Sheriff's Office reported for the deputy who accompanied the volunteer posse to Hawaii.

"We need to wait for some common sense to prevail at the board," she said. "Why in the world would they not accept the money?"

The report mentions that Citizens for a Better Arizona appeared at the hearing and voice its concerns:

About 30 members of Citizens for a Better Arizona, an anti-Arpaio activist group led by Randy Parraz, attended Wednesday's meeting to protest the agenda item. Members asked the board not to accept private donations to "backfill" the sheriff's use of public funds.

They argued that the investigation was "well outside the jurisdiction of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the duties and responsibilities of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors."

When Kunasek began explaining to the activists that the supervisors and sheriff are separately elected and that he believes the supervisors should not have a say in what criminal investigations the sheriff pursues, the crowd began heckling. Parraz pointed and yelled at Kunasek, accusing him of allowing public funds to be used for what Parraz called a waste of taxpayer money.

Stapley and Wilcox, who have filed legal claims against Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas over previous grievances, agreed with Parraz and other activists. Stapley said the board's acceptance of private funds would cover up what he believes was misspending of taxpayer funds for the Obama investigation. 

Here are some YouTube videos of yesterday's hearings:

So, in a move that will be seen by many as duplicitous, it is ok to use taxpayer money to go one a wild goose chase and then ask for private money after the fact? We have two words for this: #NoMames.

After Getting Sued by Government, Arpaio Suddenly Tries to Shift Strategy With Latino Community

So let's get this straight. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio spends the last few years (yes, even President Bush's administration was already questioning his motives) creating an atmosphere of anti-Latino hate and fear that profiled American citizens of Latino origin and those "crimimal illegals" all in the name of secure borders, but once you get the US Department of Justice to file a civil complaint (code word: lawsuit), all of a sudden Arpaio—who says the suit is politically motivated—wants to improve his image within his county's Latino community.

To quote a famous clown: "Homey don't play dat."

This is what local Arizona press reported on May 9:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced departmental changes Tuesday to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in an effort to mend fences with the Hispanic community.

Arpaio made the announcement just hours after receiving notice from the Department of Justice that it plans to sue his office.

More community forums focused on the Hispanic community and deputies receiving Spanish language courses are just two of the forthcoming steps intended to ease the tensions brought on by Arpaio's handling of immigration enforcement.

The two sides have been at odds for months over the federal agency's investigation into the sheriff's department and accusations of racial profiling during crime sweeps.

"I don't tolerate racist attitudes or behavior. But perception can be more powerful than fact. I want to address the concerns of the Hispanic community openly," Arpaio said.

"I don't think they really understand what we're doing and this (policy shift) will open it up and I think there's a misunderstanding on how we operate in enforcing illegal immigration laws."

While Arpaio intends to improve relations with the Latino community, he made it clear that he will not cave to federal agents, who want to place their own monitor in his jails.

Arpaio rejected that idea but is considering hiring his own monitor.

"I am not changing the oath I took to enforce all of the laws. I will continue to enforce the laws," he said.

In United States vs. Joe Arpaio, Controversial Sheriff Says He Is Being Used for the Latino Vote

What follows below are the entire public documents describing in full detail the lawsuit filed this week by the United States government against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio has already gone on record to say the following, as reported by CNN:

"They're using me for the Latino vote, showing that they're doing something, taking on the sheriff over an alleged racial profiling," Joe Arpaio told reporters in Phoenix. He vowed to defend himself, not for selfish purposes, but to help the thousands of other sheriffs in the country avoid finding themselves in similar situations.

"I'm not going to surrender my office to the federal government," he said. "I will fight this to the bitter end."


 

From “Democracy Now!”: The U.S. v. Joe Arpaio

Democracy Now! provided as rather extensive and detailed report about the recent suit filed by the US Department of Justice against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose office has been charged with racially profiling Latino residents in the Phoenix area. Here is the video of the segment and the transcript from today's segment.

 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show in Arizona. On Thursday, the Justice Department sued Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies in Maricopa County for racially profiling Latino residents in the Phoenix area. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit only once before in the 18-year history of its police reform work.

The 32-page complaint contends that Arpaio and his deputies aggressively targeted Latinos regardless of their immigration status and retaliated against anyone who got in their way. According to the complaint, Latinos at the county jail were often referred to as "wetbacks" and other ethnic slurs. The complaint also alleges Latino drivers were five to nine times more likely than their non-Latino counterparts to be stopped or searched.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division announced the lawsuit.

ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL THOMAS PEREZ: The police are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not divide them. At its core, this is an abuse-of-power case involving a sheriff and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices, compromised public safety, and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics. Constitutional policing and effective policing go hand in hand. Our complaint alleges the defendants’ actions were neither constitutional nor effective.

AMY GOODMAN: Sheriff Joe Arpaio vowed to fight the lawsuit. He said he’ll defend himself to help other sheriffs avoid finding themselves in similar situations.

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO: We’re just doing our job, enforcing the illegal immigration laws. We are not racist. We do not racial-profile. There’s no systemic proof of that. And quite frankly, I’m very happy that we are being sued, because now we will make them put up everything they’ve been accusing me and my office of. The bottom line here, as my attorneys mentioned, I am not going to surrender my office to the federal government. I will fight this to the bitter end.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Supporters of Sheriff Joe Arpaio maintain that the federal government has failed to police the southwestern border, leading to an influx of undocumented immigrants who have allegedly drained social services and created other problems. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has also told reporters in Phoenix, quote, "They’re using me for the Latino vote, showing that they’re doing something, taking on the sheriff over an alleged racial profiling."

AMY GOODMAN: A Department of Justice probe last year accused Arpaio of targeting Latino residents, illegally detaining them, then denying them basic rights behind bars. Settlement talks between Arpaio and federal officials broke down last month over Arpaio’s resistance to allowing an independent monitor of his department.

For more, we’re going to Phoenix, Arizona, where we’re joined by Randy Parraz, a longtime critic of Sheriff Arpaio, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that led a successful recall effort against Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the leading lawmaker behind Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070.

Randy Parraz, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of this case.

RANDY PARRAZ: Good morning.

Yes, I think it’s very important, because now the case has moved forward, and there’s an actual lawsuit. Sheriff Arpaio, with his recent release of a reform document, is actually admitting that there’s problems there. Now, he’s been in denial for quite some time. You know, he thinks this is a fight or some type of war against the federal government. You know, this is not United Counties of Arizona; we are in the United States of America. The federal government, under the Department of Justice, an investigation began under the George Bush administration, that continued. These are seasoned professionals in the civil rights department who are doing their job. And so, it’s unfortunate that Sheriff Arpaio chooses to whip up, you know, his political machine, instead of come to the table and just deal with these issues.

I was someone who was targeted by sheriff deputies and arrested back in 2008 for speaking out against Sheriff Arpaio. These are real instances. There are other U.S. citizens who have been stopped, detained and arrested. These are real instances. Sheriff Arpaio is in La-La Land. He is a relic from the past, and he needs to come to terms with his behavior that he’s actually created and the culture of corruption he’s created there in the sheriff’s department.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Randy, the complaint by the Justice Department not only centers on the actual practices of the department in terms of these roundups in neighborhoods, surrounding whole neighborhoods and stopping everyone and demanding identification from everyone in these neighborhoods, but also talks about the emails that went back and forth between members of the department, these outrageously racist emails. Could you talk about that, what you know of in terms of the operations of the department?

RANDY PARRAZ: Yes. I mean, it’s just a culture that was created there where they thought it was OK as being sheriff deputies, high-ranking commanders, supervisors, when you have things going around referring to Mexicans as "Mexican bitches," using cartoons and talking about—you know, showing a drunk Mexican on a bench, you know, saying that that’s their form of yoga. I mean, there was just, time after time, different instances where they felt comfortable, you know, vilifying, making fun of a community of people who are Latinos, based on the culture that Sheriff Arpaio has created there.

And so, we believe, finally, we’re going to have an airing of what’s taken place. You know, we applaud the federal government and the Department of Justice for coming in and holding Sheriff Arpaio accountable, because local law enforcement officials here, whether it’s the county attorney, Bill Montgomery, or it’s the state attorney general, Tom Horne, are unwilling to do that work. We just recently had—you know, yesterday marked the day that former County Attorney Thomas, Andrew Thomas, was officially disbarred for his behavior, for what he did here in Maricopa County, and he was also in partnership with Sheriff Arpaio. So Sheriff Arpaio’s former chief deputy, David Hendershott: fired. You know, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas: disbarred. You know, Russell Pearce: recalled. And now you have Sheriff Arpaio, like the only remaining pillar of that triangle of corruption, that remains.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But Randy, this also—this lawsuit—or this complaint now also sort of sets the Justice Department, in some way, up against the Department of Homeland Security, because Janet Napolitano, who is from Arizona, has never really called out Joe Arpaio on any of the—of his activities or any of his practices.

RANDY PARRAZ: I think, absolutely. I think Janet Napolitano at one point actually sought Sheriff Arpaio’s endorsement when she ran for governor, so I think you’re touching on some really interesting points there in terms of, you know, who’s really going to lead this effort and who’s willing to speak out and really hold these folks accountable. I think you have this investigation, which we—especially folks who live here under this corrupt, you know, regime, this reign of terror, and it’s real. They talk about wall of distrust that exists between the sheriff’s department and the Latino community, and that’s very real.

AMY GOODMAN: Randy?

RANDY PARRAZ: So, I don’t think—yes.

AMY GOODMAN: I also wanted to ask you about recent reports that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio publicly mocked federal authorities probing his office for racially profiling of Latinos at a fundraiser for an anti-immigration group in Texas in 2009. Arpaio said, quote, "After they went after me, we arrested 500 more just for spite." Can you talk about this report, Randy Parraz?

RANDY PARRAZ: Yeah. Once again, it just shows that Sheriff Arpaio is more concerned about his own political image. He sees, you know, whether it’s Latino immigrants, as pawns in his own political game. There was a time here when Sheriff Arpaio—I think it was in 2006—was on record saying, "I’m not concerned about those immigrants or those folks who are here, you know, selling elote, corn vendors, those types of folks. I want to go after real criminals, those smugglers, those folks who are bringing drugs in." And then that changed in 2006, 2007, when he thought it was in his political interest to get on the bandwagon and do immigrant bashing and going after those immigrants and playing that card.

And so, now I think he’s overplayed it. I think now people are fatigued about this whole notion, where he has, you know, illegally misspent over $100 million. There’s been—there’s over 400 uninvestigated sex crimes that took place under his watch. He’s moved a tremendous amount of our resources and put it under other priority by going after, you know, immigrants. And so, I think, you know, we’re at a point now where this is all going to come to a head, because his election now is up in November. And so, whether, you know, we see it—we get justice in the courtroom for the civil action being brought by the Department of Justice or get justice at the ballot box, this is all going to come down this year. So it’s going to be a very exciting year for trying to get Arizona back on the right direction for progress here in Arizona.

AMY GOODMAN: Randy Parraz, I want to thank you very much for being with us, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona. The group led a successful recall effort against State Senator Russell Pearce, the leading lawmaker behind the anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070. Now, well, it’s the U.S. Justice Department that’s taking on the sheriff, U.S.A. v. Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Department of Justice Breaks Off Negotiations with Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Office

After Maricopa Country Sheriff's Office received the following letter from the US Department of Justice today, the MCSO and Sheriff Joe Arpaio did not honor the deadline, so negotiations to address a civil right case against MCSO have broken off. The reason? AZCentral.com reports that "the Sheriff's Office refused to consider appointing an independent monitor in an effort to resolve the federal government's racial profiling allegations."

The report from AZCentral.com continues:

Arpaio said he refused to comply because President Barack Obama's administration is "trying to strong arm me into submission only for its political gain."

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined further comment, but legal action against the Sheriff's Office once again appears imminent. 

Representatives for both the Sheriff's Office and the Justice Department have said repeatedly that they want to avoid going to court in an effort to resolve the profiling allegations detailed in a report the Justice Department released in mid December. The negotiations between the two parties were crucial to avoiding litigation, but the Justice Department's letter to Arpaio's attorneys indicate that meetings were spotty and not productive.