Judge to decide whether Latinos are racially profiled in Ariz. sheriff’s immigration patrols
For six years, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has vehemently denied allegations that his deputies racially profile Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols.
Joe Arpaio would dismiss his critics in his signature brash style at countless news conferences and in numerous appearances on television.
Now, the sheriff in Arizona’s most populous county will have to convince a federal judge who is presiding over a lawsuit that heads to trial on Thursday and is expected to last until early August.
The plaintiffs say Arpaio’s officers based some traffic stops on the race of Hispanics who were in vehicles, had no probable cause to pull them over and made the stops so they could inquire about their immigration status.
“He is not free to say whatever he wants,” said Dan Pochoda, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, one of the groups that has pushed the lawsuit against Arpaio.
“He will be called as a witness in our case,” Pochoda said. “He will not have control over the flow of information, and he is not the final arbiter.”
The plaintiffs aren’t seeking money damages and instead are seeking a declaration that Arpaio’s office racially profiles and an order that requires it to make changes to prevent what they said is discriminatory policing.
Read more at NBC Latino