EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

May 25, 2013

Judge: Ariz. sheriff's office profiles Latinos

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that the office of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff systematically singled out Latinos in its trademark immigration patrols, marking the first finding by a court that the agency racially profiles people.

The 142-page decision by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow in Phoenix backs up allegations that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s critics have made for years that his officers rely on race in their immigration enforcement.

Snow, whose ruling came more than eight months after a seven-day non-jury trial on the subject, also ruled Arpaio’s deputies unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people who were pulled over.

A small group of Latinos alleged in a lawsuit that Arpaio’s deputies pulled over some vehicles only to make immigration status checks. The group asked Snow to issue injunctions barring the sheriff’s office from discriminatory policing and the judge ruled that more remedies could be ordered in the future.

The sheriff won’t face jail time or fines as a result of the ruling.

The group also accused the sheriff of ordering some immigration patrols not based on reports of crime but rather on letters and emails from Arizonans who complained about people with dark skin congregating in an area or speaking Spanish. The group’s attorneys pointed out that Arpaio sent thank-you notes to some people who wrote the complaints.

The sheriff has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying his deputies only stop people when they think a crime has been committed and that he wasn’t the person who picked the location of the patrols. His lawyers also said there was nothing wrong with the thank-you notes.

The ruling represents a victory for those who pushed the lawsuit. They weren’t seeking money damages but rather a declaration that Arpaio’s office racially profiles and an order that requires it to make policy changes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream? Obama Calls on Hamas to Release Israeli Soldier Hispanic Caucus Slams GOP for Border Bill Shifts Obama: GOP Not Even Trying to Solve Immigration Emory Prepares to Treat American Ebola Cases US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Russell Simmons, LL Cool J Visit Youth at Jail Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire Despite Moratorium, Detroit Water Worries Remain Faith Leaders Arrested at DC Deportation Protest Family Dispute Cripples Northeast Grocery Chain CDC Warns Travelers Amid Ebola Outbreak US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains
Latest World News
Hispanic Caucus Slams GOP for Border Bill Shifts Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Today in History for August 1st Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire US Warns Against Traveling to Ebola-hit Areas Raw: Deadly Taiwan Gas Leak Explosion Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Today in History for July 31st Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village
Photos of the Week