Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing more accusations of racial profiling from his ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants. Four U.S. citizens claim they were stopped and mistreated by sheriff’s deputies because they are Latino, says the Arizona Republic. In one case, a brother and sister say deputies unnecessarily stopped them in front of their auto-repair shop and forced them out of the car with weapons raised. In another, a husband and wife say sheriff’s deputies improperly asked for a Social Security card after they encountered a roadblock.
The accusations were added yesterday a federal lawsuit that alleges the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is targeting Latinos to investigate immigration status by using unfounded traffic stops, racially motivated questioning and baseless arrests in a series of crime sweeps. “The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office does not racially profile,” said Capt. Paul Chagolla, a spokesman for the office. The lawsuit “will not stop Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office from doing its work enforcing all the laws, including state and federal immigration laws.”