Maricopa County Sheriff's Office controversies
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) is a law enforcement agency in Maricopa County, Arizona that has been involved in many controversies since 1995. It is the largest sheriff's office in Arizona state and provides general-service and specialized law enforcement to unincorporated areas of Maricopa County, serving as the primary law enforcement for unincorporated areas of the county as well as incorporated cities within the county who have contracted with the agency for law-enforcement services. It also operates the county jail system. First elected in 1992, Joe Arpaio is the current sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio, who promotes himself as ""America's Toughest Sheriff,"" has himself become controversial for his approach to operating the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. First elected in 1992, Maricopa County voters reelected him sheriff in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 by double-digit margins.According to the Washington Post, on 17 August 2010, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division opened an inquiry into the Sheriff's Department in relation to alleged racism and abuse of power, as well as refusing to cooperate with a federal Justice Department investigation.On December 15, 2011 the Justice Department released its finding that the Sheriff's department repeatedly arrested Latinos illegally, abused them in the county jails and failed to investigate hundreds of sexual assaults. The Department of Homeland Security, reacting to the Justice Department report, revoked Maricopa County jail officers' authority to detain people on immigration charges. The Justice Department report found that the Sheriff's office carried out a blatant pattern of discrimination against Latinos and held a ""systematic disregard"" for the Constitution. The Department's racial profiling expert found the sheriff's office to be the most egregious case of profiling ever seen in the U.S.