Tough sheriff Arpaio in court in civil trial
Arizona sheriff accused of racial discrimination
Acclaimed as "America's toughest sheriff," Joe Arpaio of Arizona has
found himself in court in a civil trial. His department is accused of
racial discrimination against Latinos. The American Civil Liberties
Union of Arizona, along with other attorneys is representing Hispanics
in a class-action lawsuit accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio of
civil rights and constitutional violations. The trial is being held in
the U.S. District Court in Phoenix.
Acclaimed as 'America's toughest sheriff,' Joe Arpaio of Arizona has found himself in court in a civil trial. His department is accused of racial discrimination against Latinos.
An attorney for the sheriff, Tim Casey told the court that "there is no evidence that race or ethnicity played a factor" in the detention of the five named plaintiffs.
"Ethnic constituency of the neighborhood plays no role" in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department's selection of neighborhoods for saturation patrols, Casey said in court.
Arpaio is expected to early next week. Arpaio critics demonstrated and carried placards stating, "No justice. No peace. No racist police," outside the courthouse.
Ralph Taylor, a Temple University professor of criminal justice testified that he did a statistical analysis that shows Hispanics are more likely to be checked for immigration status during saturation patrols than non-Hispanics are.
Nationally known for his tough stances against illegal immigration, Arpaio's critics have said for years that his approach has created a system of racial profiling.
The current trial is for a lawsuit brought by Hispanics who say they were discriminated against.
The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2007, claims that Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "launched a series of massive so-called 'crime suppression sweeps' that show a law enforcement agency operating well beyond the bounds of the law."
"They're never easy cases, there's no smoking gun," ACLU of Arizona legal director Dan Pochoda said. "We don't expect a memo in the file that says let's get these people solely because they're Hispanic. We believe the evidence will demonstrate that is indeed effectively what was done."
Arpaio and his attorneys declined to comment before the trial.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Joe Arpaio, discrimination, racial profiling
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