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Archive for September 2nd, 2010

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Justice Department Sues Sheriff Joe For Not Cooperating With Investigation

TPM Muckraker

Ryan J. Reilly | September 2, 2010, 12:33PM

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona for refusing to fully cooperate with the department’s investigation of alleged national origin discrimination in the course of immigration enforcement.

DOJ has been looking into whether Arpaio is in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act since March 2009. The controversial Arpaio passed a deadline last month to provide DOJ with the documents they requested, and his lawyer met with DOJ last week.

The Justice Department said at the time it was “hopeful” that Arpaio would cooperate following the meeting, but in a statement said on Thursday that it had “[exhausted] all cooperative measures” to gain access to the requested documents and facilities.

DOJ is unaware of any other police department of sheriff’s office that has refused to cooperate with an investigation in the past 30 years, making Maricopa County “an extreme outlier,” said the department.

“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented. It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

Arpaio’s lawyer Robert Driscoll, when reached by TPM, said he was still reviewing the filing and had no comment.

DOJ’s lawsuit is embedded below.

DOJ Complaint Against Arpaio

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Will Glenn Beck’s Creepy “Black Robe Regiment” Use Churches to Sway Voters?

Though Beck keeps insisting that his “Black Robe Regiment” won’t be about endorsements, two members say their mission is to return to their churches and boost voter involvement.

September 2, 2010 |

Glenn Beck’s newly created Black Robe Regiment — which he has said would be apolitical — apparently has a clear political direction, according to two of its members.

Dr. Richard Lee of the First Redeemer Church in Atlanta, Ga., and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, both said part of the group’s mission is to return to their places of worship and boost voter involvement.

“We know the people of America are good, morale, decent people,” Lee told me Tuesday. “If they look within their own hearts, they will vote the proper way and allow themselves to stand up at the voting polls.”

Beck has repeatedly insisted that the new group and his recent rally would be apolitical.

On his radio show Monday, Beck discussed the first meeting to create the new group. He said: “I had a couple people that had helped put this together, and some of them had been involved in the Christian Coalition. And when I first called them and talked to them, I said, ‘Look, I know you were involved in the Christian Coalition, but this isn’t Christian, this has to be everybody, and it cannot ever be made about politics. If it’s about politics, it’s worthless.’ And all of them said the same thing: ‘Amen.’ ”

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Ahmed Sharif

DOJ Investigating Anti-Muslim Incidents

TPM Muckraker

Rachel Slajda | September 2, 2010, 1:43PM

The Department of Justice is investigating two recent, high-profile anti-Muslim incidents, TPMmuckraker confirms.

A DOJ spokeswoman says the department has opened investigations into the attack on a Muslim cab driver in New York City and an apparent arson at the site of a future mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

“The Department is investigating these matters with local authorities,” said the spokeswoman, Xochitl Hinojosa.

Although it hasn’t happened yet this time, the Justice Department has in the past created task forces for dealing with apparent hate crime waves. In the 1990s, a spate of church fires in the South lead to the Church Arson Task Force, which found that some of the fires were racially motivated against African-Americans. After Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush DOJ Civil Rights Division began an “Initiative to Combat Post-9/11 Discriminatory Backlash” to make sure potential hate crimes against Muslims were prosecuted.

Department officials reportedly met recently with an interfaith coalition, including Muslim groups, worried about the apparent increase in anti-Muslim sentiment, and more meetings may be in the works.

Additional reporting by Ryan J. Reilly.

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