If Sheriff Arpaio doesn’t racially profile Latinos, why are the majority of his inmates legal Hispanic residents?

LatinaLista — In yet another disturbing story to come out of Arizona this week — and it’s only Tuesday! — is news that Latinos make up the ethnic majority in the Maricopa County jails.

Seeing that this is the domain of the infamous Sheriff Arpaio, the news isn’t completely shocking. Yet, what is surprising is that instead of the undocumented Hispanic immigrant male who should be accounting for this majority, we find out that it’s the legal Hispanic male resident of Maricopa County who occupies this distinction.
Why?
Are Latino males in Maricopa County born with a criminal gene?
Por favor!
As Nastassia Walsh, a research analyst with the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.,-based group that advocates alternatives to incarceration, said “Putting large numbers of police officers and deputies in Latino neighborhoods would clearly result in more Latinos going to jail.”


Arpaio and his “posse” are known to do just that in their hunts for undocumented immigrants. In the process, Latinos are being targeted for trivial offenses that may warrant a warning in other areas of the county.
Because of this increased enforcement, the jails are not only shifting demographically but they are the settings for violent tensions building among inmates.
In examining the Maricopa County jails, it was found:
• The number of Hispanic men in county jails increased by more than 28 percent between 2004 and 2008, from 2,751 in 2004 to more than 3,500 last year. The number of Hispanics in Maricopa County increased by more than 20 percent, from 982,000 in 2004 to more than 1.18 million in 2007, the last year with ethnic data available from the U.S. Census.
• The number of White men in county jails fell nearly 18 percent, from 3,580 to 2,938 in that same time span, while the number of Whites in the county rose by almost 7 percent.
• The number of Black men in county jails continued to increase, from 986 to 1,158 in that five-year period, and now make up more than 14 percent of the jails’ male population. Blacks make up about 4 percent of the county’s population.
Though it’s reported that Maricopa County, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a decline in violent crime, the question remains why so many Latinos are being jailed in Maricopa County?
Aside from those men who murder, rape and rob and deserve to be behind bars, those types of offenders seem to be in the minority.
By arresting Latino males for trivial offenses sends the wrong message to children of that community.
If they see their brother or father or uncle or cousin being handcuffed and placed in a squad car for driving with a broken taillight or not signaling or jaywalking or just hanging outside with a group of friends, it sends a message that the police are not there to help but hurt their families.
By locking up so many males from one community, it negatively impacts that community and trust is irretrievably broken between law enforcement and the community’s young generation.
Most police departments get this.
Why Sheriff Arpaio’s department doesn’t get it goes beyond just doing their job. It means that there is no respect for the Latino community in his jurisdiction.
How can there be respect for the law when there’s no respect given in return?

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12 Comments

  1. Karen said:

    We need leadership. We have so-called civil rights grpoups and representatives in Washington, but they are so consumed with illegal immigration that Americans of Mexican descent have no representation anymore.
    I am tired of Mexican-Americans paying the price for illegal immigration and the government’s inability either to enforce the law or to legalize them. I don’t care what they do anymore. Just resolve it!!

  2. Horace said:

    “Latinos are being targeted for trivial offenses that may warrant a warning in other areas of the county.”
    What’s your idea of a trivial offense warranting only a warning. I find it funny that you seem to intentionally leave out any specifics as to the types of “trivial” offenses. Maybe it doesn’t serve your agenda to do so. Try telling all of the facts fora a change, and not avoid presenting the inconvenient ones.

  3. Horace said:

    Remember, the majority of those in his jail have been convicted of something and that it’s not the sheriff’s job to try and sentence people. That’s the judge’s job. If a warning is warranted then that’s the judge’s discretion. If you don’t like it, take it up with the Arizona judiciary.

  4. Marisa Treviño said:

    Horace, Maybe it serves your agenda to read only what you want to see. Polish your glasses and take another read of the post. You’ll find examples of trivial offenses.

  5. Evelyn said:

    A few hours after the story Marisa is reporting on broke that proves Arpaio’s racial profiling, Arpaio decided to quit cooperating with the Department of Justice who are investigating him on accusations of racial profiling.
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/
    07/07/20090707jailpopshift0707.html
    Arpaio done cooperating with DOJ
    PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a press conference Tuesday that he is done cooperating with the U.S Department of Justice’s investigation of his office.
    The DOJ has been investigating the sheriff’s office on allegations that Arpaio and his deputies have been racially profiling the Hispanic community.
    http://www.ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=1187069#
    He doesent seem to understand that he will cooperate one way or another.
    By the time the DOJ and the ACLU finish with him he is toast.
    I hope he gets to wear his pink underwear.

  6. Horace said:

    “If they see their brother or father or uncle or cousin being handcuffed and placed in a squad car for driving with a broken taillight or not signaling or jaywalking or just hanging outside with a group of friends, it sends a message that the police are not there to help but hurt their families.”
    If they have determined that these people are illegal aliens then they are deserving of such treatment. And I don’t believe the anecdotes of the friends and family members of illegal aliens, as you seem to do. Unlike you, my first inclination isn’t to trust people who’ve broken the law or have had family members deported as illegal immigrants. Since they have an axe to grind against Arpaio, what makes you think that such people have credibility? Just because you can get enough liars to attest to something as fact doesn’t change make their testimony truth. Let’s face it, you would hate Arpaio regardless of the fact that he didn’t profile, because you would rant against anyone who arrested as many illegal aliens as he has. Arpaio is not the issue, he’s a scapegoat, a human face for illegal immigrants and their supporters to throw stones at. You also hate that he has the support of the vast majority of citizens in Arizona.

  7. Karen said:

    Re: “If they have determined that these people are illegal aliens then they are deserving of such treatment.”
    You’re missing the point. He’s just arresting anybody Hispanic and hoping that he finds some illegal immigrants in the group.
    HIspanics and Native Americans–anybody brown– are getting arrested for trivial things like having a broken tail light. That’s illegal.
    And where is Obama? He is one WEAK President.

  8. cookie said:

    Sheriff Joe deciding he is done cooperating with the DOJ does not prove any guilt on his part. He has been harrassed ever since the illegal alien aiders and abettors have decided to make this a racial issue to further their agenda. His records are right there to be examined and that is what will determine his guilt or non-guilt. It is called undeniable evidence of which he knows there isn’t any.

  9. Evelyn said:

    This is all the proof any judge needs to prove Arpaio’s racial profiling.
    The numbers show it.
    First the Department of Justice is suing him and now the ACLU is suing him.
    He is going after Hispanics excessively and hung himself.
    The numbers show it and the representative from the ACLU said it.
    I hope that racist bastard rots in hell like he deserves.
    Now that they caught him with his hand in the cookie jar the coward is backtracking.
    ~
    The population of White male inmates, after growing steadily for more than a decade, has dropped in the past five years, while the population of Hispanic male inmates has increased to the point that they make up the ethnic majority, according Sheriff’s Office data.
    The majority of Hispanics in county jails are not in the country illegally.
    Sheriff Joe Arpaio has used ICE-trained deputies to conduct crime sweeps in neighborhoods with high Hispanic populations and work-site raids, which frequently result in arrests for warrants and other crimes that have nothing to do with immigration.
    “These numbers don’t represent a pattern of crime, they reflect a pattern of enforcement,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the Arizona ACLU, a group that is suing the Sheriff’s Office over allegations of racial profiling.
    • The number of Hispanic men in county jails increased by more than 28 percent between 2004 and 2008, from 2,751 in 2004 to more than 3,500 last year. The number of Hispanics in Maricopa County increased by more than 20 percent, from 982,000 in 2004 to more than 1.18 million in 2007, the last year with ethnic data available from the U.S. Census.
    • The number of White men in county jails fell nearly 18 percent, from 3,580 to 2,938 in that same time span, while the number of Whites in the county rose by almost 7 percent.
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/07/07/20090707
    jailpopshift0707.html

  10. Che said:

    I’m not surprised that the majority of the inmates are Latinos. It’s simple statistics. How far is it from the border? Google “San Diego Most Wanted list” or even LA…… see? simple statistics.

  11. Evelyn said:

    I’m not surprised that the majority of the inmates are Latinos. It’s simple statistics. How far is it from the border? Google “San Diego Most Wanted list” or even LA…… see? simple statistics.
    ~
    These numbers don’t represent a pattern of crime, they reflect a pattern of enforcement,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the Arizona ACLU, a group that is suing the Sheriff’s Office over allegations of racial profiling.

  12. Horace said:

    “These numbers don’t represent a pattern of crime, they reflect a pattern of enforcement,….”
    Very true, Evelyn. Latin American border jumpers are notoriously bad drivers and aren’t use to taking care of their vehicles to meet U.S. public safety standards, i.e. bad tires, broken tail lights, expired or no license, and don’t keep up with their auto insurance. Ignorance of the law does them in, and deservedly so. In short, they’re easy targets for traffic cops and subject to becoming tenants in the county pen.

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