DOJ Finally Investigates Arpaio for Civil Rights Violations

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Yesterday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The letter (PDF) began: "This is to inform you that the United States Department of Justice is commencing an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office…"  After years of skepticism about the "upside down" civil rights division in the past administration, it was a uniquely welcome moment.

The importance of this announcement cannot be underestimated for folks in Arizona, nor the level of disappointment that a failure to effectively follow through would engender. Arpaio, along with Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and their allies in the Arizona legislature, have had free reign during the past five years to implement a reactionary agenda based on images of brown hordes ending the "American" way of life. In his obsessive quest for "illegals," Arpaio has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars literally terrorizing communities of color that consist overwhelmingly of hard-working persons — most U.S.citizens. As stated by one county supervisor, "if you have brown skin there is not anything you can do to not be stopped."

The past year we've seen the beginning of an effective resistance movement focusing on Arpaio and on abuses by other local law enforcement agencies throughout the country that are empowered to enforce federal immigration law. Activists, religious groups and a few public officials have taken stands in opposition to Arpaio's racist practices — an unpopular and at times risky position. Unfortunately, then Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, now Homeland Security Chief, was not amongst these persons, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) remains deafeningly silent in the face of Arpaio's continuing human rights violations.

Yesterday's letter from the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ incorporates language from the complaint in the ongoing racial profiling litigation against Arpaio brought by the ACLU of Arizona, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund with lead firm Steptoe & Johnson. The letter demonstrates that effective organizing and advocacy can result in local and national attention and criticism.

Arpaio's actions and the use of local law enforcement to unfairly target Latinos has become an overarching question of pragmatism versus principle. The response of the DOJ and ultimately ICE — and Congress — will reveal which path the new administration takes.

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Vic Livingston



Gang stalking, menacing with a motor vehicle, surreptitious home entries, vandalism of property and personal effects, and covert assault with hi-tech microwave radiation weapons have been unconstitutionally decriminalized throughout the nation under the convenient banner of the “war on terror”…

…as demonstrated by the Bush Justice Department “torture memos,” which have been described as a blueprint for a police state.

Bush administration officials renounced the memos just days before the end of their term — but fact is, the programs and policies that these memos deigned to justify continue under President Obama.

The Bush torture memos, some still secret, appear to have laid the groundwork for a repressive “extrajudicial punishment network” — in effect, turning local police into secret agents acting on suspicions derived from “intelligence” that may have been supplied with ideological baggage attached.

Many innocent people have been “put on a list” by those who don’t like their politics, their social activism, or their ethnic background. Persons slandered as “troublemakers, ” “deviates,” “mental defectives” or disloyal “dissidents” have been subject to years of persecution at the hands of their neighbors — just as occurred in Nazi Germany in the years leading up to World War II and Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

(A former NSA analyst has revealed that journalists nationwide have been subject to 24/7 surveillance, a claim to which this reporter can attest).

A nationwide GPS satellite tracking network has been made available to “community gang stalkers” who hide behind federal- and county-funded volunteer organizations and public safety agencies such as fire departments and police auxiliaries.

These organizations provide taxpayer-funded vehicles and gasoline to local squads of hundreds of vigilante volunteers, who seem to delight in “swarming the target” when signal from a secreted GPS device planted in their vehicles shows up in the so-called “crown of evil” GPS video screen of the stalkers.

Some stalkers cause auto accidents and attempt to provoke confrontations that will draw police attention. The apparent motive: to portray the persecuted as mentally unbalanced.

This vehicle stalking causes a public safety hazard as vigilante squads violate the civil and human rights of their prey — many, if not most, of whom are upstanding citizens who were wrongly or maliciously targeted.

Victims say the gang stalkers also make surreptitious entry into their homes to vandalize property and personal effects, and to leave tell-tale signs that the privacy of their targets has been violated — a form of psychological harassment known as “gaslighting” (after "Gaslight," the classic Ingrid Bergman movie, in which an evil husband manipulates his wife’s environment to make her think she is going crazy).

Every law enforcement agency in the nation is likely to know about the GPS-enabled stalking system and the community gang stalking — what some insiders call “the torture matrix.” The Bush torture memos specifically cited anti-stalking laws as being exempt from enforcement when “terrorism” was suspected.

Portraying the “targets” as mentally unsound also appears to be the goal of what amounts to an American “slow-kill” genocide: The covert assault of these “targeted individuals” with classified, hi-tech microwave radiation weapons and devices referred to by officialdom as supposedly non-lethal “directed energy weapons.”

The benign nomenclature notwithstanding, these powerful microwave weapons can stun, injure, induce illness, and, depending on exposure levels, kill. Victims say the weapons are being used on the “targets” to induce symptoms of mental illness and cognitive impairment — in a campaign to have them declared mentally ill and thus “neutralized.”

These are crimes against humanity, enabled by federal programs and policies that have co-opted and corrupted local law enforcement, which is dependent upon federal funding from the agencies that devised these “programs of personal destruction.”

It is time for local authorities to reclaim their autonomy, and their respect for Constitutional rights. There is a new administration in Washington, one that has pledged to uphold the Constitution.

Local and regional officials and law enforcement officers who renounce community gang stalking and prosecute those who have persecuted their neighbors will be praised as upholders of the Constitution and defenders of the rule of law.

Those who continue to enable the violation of civil and human rights may find themselves under scrutiny as the new team in Washington makes good on its pledge to restore American values and respect for the rights granted to all citizens under the Constitution of the United States.

– Vic Livingston
Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, PA

Columnist,; former host, Sports Business Report on Madison Square Garden Network; former reporter, Phila. Fox 29 News; New York Daily News; Philadelphia Bulletin; Phila. Channel 6 Action News; former editor, TV/Radio Age, CableVision magazines

For more of Vic Livingston’s articles about The American Gestapo:


This is typical ad hominem for people screaming "racism" when they cannot justify their position of undocumented aliens from breaking our nation's laws.

Last I heard, Mexican was a nationality, not a race. I am sure we have all heard that idiom, "Squeaky wheel gets the grease"

Would we still be hearing this "racism" cry if Canada was in the same condition as Mexico and there was a "white tide" of people flooding the US from Canada?

They should turn their energy to the cause of the problem instead of working against it. That would be Mexico.


Why exactly is the ACLU defending convicted criminals? As far as I'm concerned if you have done something to wind up in jail / prison, every day rights that I have the privilege of enjoying by being a law abiding person DO NOT APPLY TO YOU ANY LONGER. Especially if you are not even in this counrty legally. This whole panel is a joke. Constitutional Rights apply to US Citizens not every Juan, Hose', and Pedro that swim up the river! Why isn't the ACLU defending my tax dollars that pay to feed and clothe these prisoners? Sherrif Joe has got the right idea. Prison is not supposed to be cable TV, Playboy Magazines, weight lifting, free healthcare and education. It's supposed to be about punishment. The more strict the better. I don't care if he has them breaking rocks all day in 120 degree weather just for shits and giggles. I don't care if he degrades them & insults them. Maybe they will keep their nose clean and not come back! Once again...the ACLU has their head up their ass!


Who or how can I find out if someones civil rights are broken dealing with school district policies?


In reference to school district policies and possible civil rights violations please contact Thanks

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