Discrimination case settled against Arizona sheriff

The US Department of Justice and county officials in Phoenix on July 15 agreed to settle parts of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in 2012. The DoJ filed charges against the Sheriff's Office for discriminatory practices in traffic stops, work and home raids, and in county jails, as well as claims of retaliation. The settlementreached with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors did not address the allegation that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's agency racially profiled Latinos when making traffic stops in their effort to prevent illegal immigration. Supervisor Steve Gallardo said the settlement is in the best interest of saving tax-payer's money by avoiding an expensive trial. The remaining issue will proceed to a scheduled Aug. 10 trial in the US District Court for the District of Arizona.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in April ruled that Arpaio engaged in practices of racial profiling when conducting traffic stops and in June a federal district judge issued a pre-trial order accepting the other court's finding of racial profiling. In January, a federal court ruled Maricopa County officials may not enforce two Arizona laws used to convict hundreds of undocumented immigrant workers. In October of last year a federal judge ordered Arpaio to undergo the same training as his deputies to assist in the prevention of racial profiling and unlawful detention by the Sheriff's Office as part of the ongoing case against Arpaio for racial profiling. In 2013 a federal judge ruled that Arpaio and his department engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling in the execution of immigration patrols.

From Jurst, July 18. Used with permission.