Local politicians and community leaders praised the federal government for its findings that the Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies targeted Latinos.
At a press conference in south Phoenix, more than a dozen state lawmakers, city councilmen, county supervisors and community activists said their complaints were finally heard. Maricopa County Supervisor, and longtime Arpaio critic, Mary Rose Wilcox said the next step is for Arpaio to explain himself.
“The report says you comply by Jan. 4th -- give a written report how you are going to comply (and) we are going to monitor it. He’s not gonna do it,” said Wilcox. “He’s gonna' blow it. He cannot take saying that he’s wrong and that’s what he’s gonna have to admit.”
Local leaders said the DOJ report only exposes some of the alleged problems. Salvador Reza is a community activist. He said the report does not assure that Arpaio is removed from office. “He’s not gonna get out of office. Unless he’s indicted and if he doesn’t get indicted then they’re leaving it up to the voters to do it. Now that’s gonna' create one more political battle in Arizona,” said Reza.
The board of supervisors has been working through numerous civil-rights lawsuits brought against Arpaio’s office. Supervisor Wilcox says the DOJ’s announcement will likely prompt more people to file lawsuits.