Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's "Community Liaison" and the Bigoted MCSO E-mails in Melendres

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's newly appointed "community liaison" officer Hector Martinez received e-mails during his time with the MCSO's notorious Human Smuggling Unit from other MCSO employees that contained offensive photos and videos demeaning Mexicans and other Latinos.

The e-mails, one of which Martinez forwarded to his home address, speak to the culture of bigotry that was allowed to permeate the Sheriff's Office, as Arpaio transformed his agency in the 2000s into one dedicated to hunting undocumented Hispanics.

Unearthed during the discovery phase of the ACLU's big racial-profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio, the e-mails were submitted to the court in 2011 by the plaintiffs as evidence of the MCSO's racial and ethnic bias.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons