Arpaio Racial Profiling Case Delayed By Federal Judge

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By admin September 2, 2013 15:10

Arpaio Racial Profiling Case Delayed By Federal Judge

joe aAs both sides remain at odds over key remedies to ensure the agency adheres  to constitutional requirements, a federal judge Friday delayed a ruling in the  racial profiling case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office Friday.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow found in May that the Maricopa County  Sheriff’s Office singled out Latinos and deputies unreasonably prolonged  detentions, marking the first finding by a court that the agency covering  Arizona’s most populous county engages in racial profiling.

Snow delayed a ruling in the case in June after parties indicated they wanted  more time to reach an agreement, though it was clear during Friday’s hearing  that neither side would cave to the other’s demands.

“I presume that you’re now leaving it up to me to take your outline and  create an order, and that’s what I intend to do,” Snow told attorneys.

The judge gave the lawyers until Sept. 18 to file additional briefs in the  case and said he would issue a final order soon thereafter.

One key proposal that attorneys for the Sheriff’s Office vehemently objected  to is for deputies to note to dispatchers why they have stopped a vehicle before  they make contact with the driver.

Given that the case arose after a small group of Latinos sued the agency for  violating their constitutional rights, saying they were detained simply because  of their race, the plaintiffs’ attorneys said such a requirement is crucial to  discern the motivation of the stop.

Maricopa County Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan told the judge it would be  burdensome and risky since “traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things  that deputies do.”

“It takes less than a second to say, ‘I’m pulling this car over because it  was speeding,'” said Cecillia Wang, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who  is representing the plaintiffs, adding that such a requirement is needed “given  the record … of racial profiling of Latinos in this county.”

Another key point of contention is the appointment of a monitor to oversee  the agency’s adherence to the judge’s eventual order.

Arpaio says allowing a monitor means every policy decision would have to be  cleared through the observer and would nullify his authority.

“Obviously, my client opposes the appointment of any monitor,” Tim Casey, one  of Arpaio’s lawyers, told the judge.

Casey said in addition to usurping the sheriff’s authority, the agency is  concerned about how much power the monitor would have, and how privy the  observer would be to sensitive information, including ongoing investigations and  search warrants.

“Basically, the concern is one of safety,” Casey said. “The more people who  know, the greater the risk of being burned.”

Despite the objections, Snow indicated that a monitor would be appointed and  would have significant authority.

“It will be the monitor’s obligation to determine when the MCSO is in full  compliance,” the judge said.

Arpaio’s office also opposes the plaintiffs’ proposal to create an advisory  board aimed at improving the department’s relationship with the Latino  community.

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By admin September 2, 2013 15:10
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