The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has engaged in racial profiling and must not use Hispanic ancestry as a factor when making law-enforcement decisions, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued the ruling Friday, more than eight months after a seven-day trial on the subject concluded. The trial examined longstanding allegations that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s emphasis on immigration enforcement led deputies to target Latino drivers based on their race, and that by doing so, they violated the constitutional rights of Maricopa County residents and the sheriff’s own policies requiring constitutional policing.
“The evidence introduced at trial establishes that, in the past, the MCSO has aggressively protected its right to engage in immigration and immigration–related enforcement operations even when it had no accurate legal basis for doing so,” Show [sic] said.
Snow was the sole arbiter of facts in the bench trial conducted without a jury. He was tasked with weighing the plaintiffs’ arguments that the Sheriff’s Office developed an immigration enforcement policy that encouraged deputies to discriminate against Latino drivers, depriving them of their Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection. A ruling from Snow late last year expanded the plaintiffs in the 41/2-year-old case to cover a class that includes every Latino driver the Sheriff’s Office has stopped since 2007. The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and pro-bono attorneys from a Bay Area law firm, and were faced with the burden of proof in the case.
Read it all here: Judge: Sheriff Arpaio’s Agency Engaged in Racial Profiling