Feds Demand Reform of Sheriff's Office; Arpaio's Immigration Sweeps Involve "Egregious" Racial Profiling, Feds Say

It was the most egregious case of racial profiling federal experts have ever seen.

Findings in a long-running investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office found that Sheriff Arpaio's department has an "ingrained culture" of abusing the rights of Latinos. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez announced today that the MCSO committed racial profiling, retaliates against its critics, and failed to investigate hundreds of sex crimes.

Perez wants to work with MCSO and "anyone who has a stake in this issue" to reform the agency, which he called "broken."

The Justice Department threatened to file suit against MCSO within 60 days if Arpaio doesn't take immediate steps to work with the Civil Rights Division to correct the violations.

The federal criminal investigation is ongoing, Perez said.

More to come...

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.