Thursday, March 12, 2009

John Conyers to Hold Hearings on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Abuses, and Video from Today's Arpaio Pile On in D.C.

One clip from today's media event denouncing Joe Arpaio, and heralding the investigation into him by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The big news out of D.C. for us here in Sand Land, of course, is that the Justice Department is investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office for civil rights violations. Now I've learned from Jonathan Godfrey, the Communications Director for the House Judiciary Committee, that Chairman John Conyers has indicated his committee will hold hearings on Arpaio's abuses in the near future.

Such hearings will be crucial if we have any hope of the feds fully investigating the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's systemic corruption. And judging from the remarks made today in D.C. by Chairman Conyers and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, it sounds as if these men are prepared to see that Arpaio is held accountable for his misdeeds.

(Excerpts of the D.C. press conference have been posted to the House Judiciary's YouTube Channel, and you can watch all of them, here.)

Chairman Conyers (D-Michigan) opened the event by accepting a petition with 35,000 names asking for a probe into Arpaio, and noting that such a probe was now underway by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department. Conyers also denounced racial profiling, no matter what race or ethnicity is targeted.

"We think that in a lot of ways," stated Conyers, "our Hispanic brothers and sisters are becoming the new targets of discrimination [and] profiling that used to occur mostly to African-Americans...We're saying together, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and everyone else: No racial profiling when you're in law enforcement."

New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, went even further in his remarks to specifically lambaste Arpaio.

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