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Justice: Arpaio engaged in 'wide-ranging discrimination' vs. Latinos

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio engaged in "wide-ranging discrimination against Latinos and retaliatory actions against individuals who criticized" his office, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday. MCSO practices racial profiling in traffic stops and immigration sweeps, and discriminates against Spanish-speaking inmates in county jails, a report alleged.... Read more»

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20 comments on this story

 1 2
Dec 16, 2011, 11:19 am
-0 +1

@Dylan SmithDylan Smith wrote:

A quick thought related to your original comment on this story, @Bret Linden:
You’re a reasonably red-blooded American male, right Bret? Do you mean to tell me you don’t notice when there’s an attractive woman in a car near you? You can’t pick out her hair color, determine an approximate age, and extrapolate a few other physical characteristics based on a three-second observation? Please….

(Thankfully, my wife doesn’t read too many online comments….)

Thankfully my wife doesn’t either. But, to be honest…no, I can’t. Unless I’m side-by-side with the other car, all I really can see is a head. Sometimes hair, and on a sunny day hair color, but that’s about it…and even that is often obscured by the driver’s head rest. I can tell if there are passengers in the car, as well, but that’s pretty much it. And, in this era of cars often having tinted windows…just forget it.

Are you telling me that from following someone you can instantly spot their ethnicity?

Dec 16, 2011, 11:31 am
-1 +0

Bret Linden asserted:

Are you telling me that from following someone you can instantly spot their ethnicity?

Well, ethnicity is a murky area, isn’t it? I’ve got plenty of Japanese, Chinese, Arab, Jewish and other friends who’ve been mistaken for Hispanics. And it’s perfectly possible for a Hispanic to also be Asian, Middle Eastern or Jewish, just as there are Hispanics with red hair and translucently white skin.

But yeah, it’s generally pretty easy to tell if someone’s mostly Northern European or not.

Even if you’re following a person, and not alongside them, you can see them in their rear-view mirrors.

If it’s not possible, how do you account for Latino drivers being 4 to 9 times more likely to be stopped by MCSO?

Dec 16, 2011, 11:36 am
-0 +1

@Dylan Smith

I’m not saying it’s not possible, just highly unlikely. And, without knowing the census statistics for Maricopa county, I can’t state with certainty that it may be a population split thing.

What I can say with certainty is that just because I don’t have an explanation and someone else has a theory does not automatically make said person’s theory correct.

I do know when something seems implausible, though, and identifying someone’s ethnicity before pulling them over seems a very difficult task to me.

Dec 17, 2011, 8:58 am
-0 +1

If MCO patrolled heavily Hispanic or poor neighborhoods significantly more frequently than affluent or “white” neighborhoods, they would statistically find more Hispanic drivers.  If they had a pomposity to target older cars for pollution control or maintainer issues, they would statistically pull over moor Hispanic drivers.  You don’t have to see a person’s skin color to have a pretty good idea that the low rider you are going to pull over to check clearance is driven by a Hispanic male.
Plenty of other indicators exist, skin color is irrelevant, as the statistics clearly show.

Dec 17, 2011, 9:12 am
-1 +0

And even Barney Fife had a radio in his patrol car, with which he could run a plate.  MCO deputies knew the name of the vehicle’s registered owner before walking up to the window, and most likely before flipping on the lights.  It’s not about color.  It’s about culture, specifically the remnants of the native people’s culture.  Admit it or not, some people still intrinsicly believe they are entitled by devine right to this land, and it is okay to cleanse it for their use.

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Sept. 2010.


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