At Arizona sheriff’s trial, Latino driver tells of humiliation
A U.S. Latino citizen fought back tears at an Arizona sheriff’s racial profiling trial on Wednesday as he described being pulled over by a deputy and having his groin frisked during a traffic stop he said was motivated by his ethnicity.
Contractor Daniel Magos, 67, testified at the civil trial of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that he was pulled over by a deputy as he drove with his U.S.-born wife to meet a client in December 2009, ostensibly because of a missing license plate on the trailer of his pickup truck.
Magos described the deputy “yelling” at him and his wife during the stop, at which he provided his license and insurance papers and declared a legally held handgun.
Told to spread his legs while being searched, Magos fought back tears when he was asked to describe how he felt being patted down in the underarms and groin.
“Humiliated, worthless, defenseless,” he said of the morning traffic stop in the Phoenix valley, which did not result in any charges or citations.
Arpaio, who styles himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” is on trial in U.S. District Court in Phoenix in a class-action lawsuit that will test whether police can target illegal immigrants without racially profiling Hispanic citizens and legal residents.
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