Saturday, May 25, 2013

AZMEX I3-2 25-5-13

AZMEX I3-2 25 MAY 2013

Arpaio's office guilty of profiling, judge rules
7 hours ago • Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX - Self-professed "toughest sheriff in America" Joe Arpaio and
the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office were guilty of racial profiling,
a federal judge found Friday, before ordering a permanent halt to the

In a 140-page ruling, Judge Murray Snow said Arpaio's department,
under his direction, was detaining individuals believed to be in this
country illegally without some other reason to arrest them for
violating any state laws.

Snow said that continued to occur even after the Department of
Homeland Security revoked the department's authority to identify and
detain those not in the country legally.

The judge also said department policy and practice allow officers to
consider the ethnicity of a vehicle's occupants in determining
whether they have reasonable suspicion to investigate them for
violation of state immigration laws.

"In some instances these policies result in prolonging the traffic
stop beyond the time necessary to resolve the issue that initially
justified the stop," Snow wrote. Absent some reasonable suspicion of
criminal activity, holding people longer than necessary violates
their constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure,
he said.

Snow said that entitled Hispanic individuals who sued to an
injunction permanently barring the Arpaio's department from using
Hispanic ancestry or race to determine whether to stop a vehicle. It
also prohibits deputies from detaining or arresting Latino occupants
of a vehicle on a belief that they are in this country illegally if
race is the only factor they have.

The order also bars the agency from detaining Latino occupants of
vehicles stopped for traffic violations any longer than necessary to
process the citation unless officers have "reasonable suspicion" that
any are committing a federal or state crime.

Arpaio said he does not believe his agency engages in racial
profiling. "That's why we're going to appeal it," he said.

But Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union
of Arizona, said the ruling confirms allegations Latinos have been
"terrorized" by Arpaio's deputies and "forced to endure years of
racial harassment and abuse." In a prepared statement, Pochoda said
all that can be laid at the feet of "Arpaio's proven willingness to
seek political gain at the expense of public safety and
constitutional guarantees."

Friday's ruling has no financial implications, as the plaintiffs in
the civil case did not seek damages, but only an injunction to
require the agency to changes its practices.

At least on paper, the instructions to deputies were that vehicles
were not to be stopped based on the race of those in a vehicle, Snow
said. But he said evidence painted a different picture.

"While officers were prohibited from using race as the only basis to
undertake a law enforcement investigation, they were allowed as a
matter of policy and instruction to consider race as one factor among
others in making law enforcement decisions in the context of
immigration enforcement," the judge wrote.

Snow reached his ruling after reviewing years of crime prevention
"saturation patrols" by the department. He said these were far from

The department "almost always scheduled its day-labor and small-scale
saturation patrols where Latino day laborers congregated," he said.
"The same is true for a considerable number of its large-scale
saturation patrols."

And Snow said it is clear the purpose of these patrols was to enforce
immigration laws, citing the news releases issued by the agency's
public relations officers.

"These news releases either emphasized that the patrols' purpose was
immigration enforcement, or prominently featured the number of
unauthorized aliens arrested during such operations," Snow said.
"Most of the time, the reports ignored any other arrests that took

Snow also said the saturation operations were just a pretext to stop
vehicles with people who may be in this country illegally.

"During saturation patrols, participating deputies conducted many
stops for minor violations of the traffic code, including minor
equipment violations," the judge said.

And Snow said that, generally speaking, deputies "had no difficulty
in finding a basis to stop any vehicle they wished for a traffic


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