U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for an end to racial profiling.
He told a crowd in Atlanta last night that he will “institute rigorous new standards” to end racial profiling by Federal Law Enforcement.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio noted that Holder was only talking about federal law enforcement, not local police. He also wondered why Holder took so long to come to this decision.
“Where’s he been for the last many years?” Arpaio asked. “Now that he’s leaving, he’s going to end it (racial profiling) once and for all? But that’s his agenda, and I’m not going to criticize him for his objective right now.”
Arpaio said he “had to be cautious” in what he could say about racial profiling because his office is currently involved in a federal court case. He insists that his department is not a racist organization.
“Racial profiling should never occur,” Arpaio said.
Meanwhile, President Obama wants more federal oversight over the Federal 1033 program that provides surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. The president says that he will still allow the transfers, but will tighten the standards of providing the equipment.
The federal government recently took away weapons and vehicles that the sheriff’s office had acquired under the program after several of the items came up missing. One of the items that the feds took away was a tank that the sheriff rode in during parades.
In a KTAR story on Nov. 11, Arpaio referred to the tank when he said, “That’s okay. I’ll get another one.”
Arpaio insists that his department is replacing some of the weapons taken away from the feds.
“We bought about 1,500 of our own Smith and Wesson semi-automatics. We’ve got a brand new, big helicopter called the 407 that will arrive here in about three months,” said Arpaio. “I don’t need their equipment or their politics.”
Arpaio said that the purchases were made using money that is “in the budget.” He also said that Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies will soon have body cameras, but he does not know if he will get any of the $75 million that the president wants to spend to put them on police officers.