Police Abuse

Arizona Sheriff Tripped Up by Big Mouth

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's habit of saying outrageous things to journalists is't helping him as he faces a lawsuit for racial profiling


Sheriff Arpaio and his office are on trial in a federal class-action lawsuit here, accused of singling out Latinos, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, for stops, questioning and detention during large-scale policing operations. The Justice Department has sued him on the same grounds, alleging discriminatory practices that extend from the streets to the jails.

On the stand last week, he had to confront past statements to the news media: Is it indeed "an honor" to be compared to the Ku Klux Klan, as he once told the TV anchor Lou Dobbs? Is the appearance of having "just came from another country" reason enough to target a person for arrest, as he said to the talk show host Glenn Beck?