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Arpaio office lawyers, DOJ meet over civil rights

Lawyers for Arizona sheriff's office to meet with DOJ over alleged civil rights violations By The Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) ' Lawyers for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office say they'll meet Monday with U.S. Department of Justice attorneys over federal accusations of civil rights violations.

Federal officials say they're willing to negotiate ways to reform the sheriff's office in Arizona's most populous county. They claim Sheriff's Joe Arpaio's office racially profiles Latinos, bases immigration enforcement on racially charged citizen complaints and punishes Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish.

Arpaio has long denied the racial profiling allegation. He called the Justice Department's scathing Dec. 15 report a politically motivated attack by the Obama administration that will make Arizona unsafe by keeping illegal immigrants on the street.

In a Jan. 17 letter to an Arpaio attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez said MCSO appeared to be trying to delay the meeting.

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Related Keywords:Arizona Sheriff-Civil Rights,Civil rights violations,Hispanics,Human rights and civil liberties,Police,Crime,General news,Social issues,Social affairs,Race and ethnicity,Law enforcement agencies,Government and politics

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