In case you missed it, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson was in the news quite a bit last week and no doubt will be in the coming week.

Last Tuedsay the U.S. Department of Justice issued an 11-page report finding that Johnson and his deputies discriminated against Latinos by making unwarranted traffic stops and arrests. DOJ has given Johnson until Sept. 30 to respond to the allegations.

Should Johnson decline to “develop and implement sustainable reform measures,” DOJ is prepared to take legal action, which could result in a lengthy court battle.

The N&R says Johnson should ‘do what’s right’ and cooperate with DOJ, while Burlington Times-News editor Madison Taylor says:

Add it all up and the U.S. Department of Justice could perhaps have come to this conclusion: Sheriff Terry Johnson is the second-coming of fictional Sheriff Buford T. Justice from those “Smokey and the Bandit” movies or the Southern lawman seen in old TV commercials who can’t seem to avoid calling everyone in sight “bwah.”

In short, some might contend the DOJ made a judgment about Johnson based on racial and cultural stereotypes. I’m not saying they did or didn’t. And if so, it doesn’t mean the DOJ is right. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, either. It might have almost nothing to do with truth and everything to do with perception, long-held beliefs, politics and twisted logic.

The timing is also questionable —seems like this issue keeps popping up during an election year, although Johnson himself is not running this time around. Could be a coincidence; however, don’t underestimate the Obama administration, considering the fact that liberals never pass on an opportunity to politicize most any issue.

Update: Since he brought up Buford T. Justice…