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Fri, May 11, 2012 11:13 AM EDT
Tags:  DOJ, joe arpaio

The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit in federal court Thursday against Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) and Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, after it found the department consistently discriminated against Latinos. The lawsuit comes after an independent investigation that began in June 2008 found the MCSO engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing that included racial profiling in traffic stops, immigration operations and discriminating against Spanish speakers in the county jails. The DOJ tried to negotiate an agreement [with Arpaio to avoid a lawsuit until last month when Arpaio tried to stall negotiations.](http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/04/department_of_justice_cuts_off_ne...)