April 18, 2008

Hispanic Lawmakers Join Call for Arpaio Investigation

Showing a unified front, Latino state lawmakers said Thursday they are backing Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's call for a federal probe into Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's recent crime sweeps in Hispanic neighborhoods.

Lawmakers said the sheriff's tactics are tantamount to racial profiling and reflect poorly on all Arizonans, regardless of their ethnic heritage.

“When one group is under attack like this, when one group is having their civil rights violated, I believe it imperils all of us, everyone across this state and across this country,” said Rep. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, who joined six other members of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus at a Capitol news conference.

“That is not what this country is about. We're not about targeting individuals because of the color of their skin, their religion or their gender,” she added. “This has to be put a stop to, and I believe an investigation is fully warranted.”

Arpaio was quick to fire back, vowing he will not be intimidated by threats from Gordon or state legislators.

“I am not concerned about (the caucus) going to Washington. I have nothing to fear and will continue to do crime suppression. I will continue to lock up illegals,” said Arpaio, who denied that he targets Hispanic communities. “I will not be intimated by minority groups.”

For the full story, click here.

No comments: