The Department of Justice files suit against Arpaio

May 10, 2012

The Department of Justice will announce on Thursday that it's filing a lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over allegations of civil rights violations by his deputies. The Justice Department sent Arpaio a letter on Wednesday, notifying him of its intention to file suit.

They told him in thier letter that they’re ready to sue the county in federal court over alleged civil rights violations. The sheriff's office has been accused of racially profiling Latinos, and punishing Latino jail inmates for not speaking English, among other things. A news conference is scheduled for Thursday where a formal announcement is expected. The Justice Department announced its initial findings back in December and tried negotiating a settlement with the sheriff. But last month Arpaio rejected the DOJ’s demands, setting the stage for a court battle.

KJZZ's Morning Edition Host Dennis Lambert spoke with William Yeomans, a 25-year veteran of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and a law professor at American University, to find out more about this issue.

Read the Department of Justice complaint filed Thursday.

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