The Justice Department is through negotiating with the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America. Authorities announced yesterday that they will sue Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations, the AP reports. The department had been trying to work out an agreement with Arpaio in which he'd train his officers on how to make constitutional traffic stops and convince Hispanics that they were protecting them, too, but Arpaio balked at a major condition: a court-appointed monitor to make sure he was following through.
Arpaio said the monitor would undermine his authority, and the Justice Department refused to strike a deal without one. "If they sue, we'll go to court, and then we'll find out the real story," Arpaio said yesterday. "They're telling me how to run my organization." The Justice Department has accused the Maricopa County sheriff of racial profiling of Latinos, punishing Hispanic inmates for speaking Spanish, and fostering a culture that disregards basic constitutional rights.