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Cross-Posted at America's Voice:

Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is expected to take the stand today, when a civil trial probing into his department’s chronic abuse of racial profiling resumes.

The no-jury, single-judge trial began last week in Arizona, with plaintiffs arguing that Arpaio and his department regularly profile and detain Hispanics without probable cause, often only so that they can question people about their immigration status.  Sheriff Arpaio maintains that his department only stops people it thinks is likely to have committed crimes, with deputies only later finding out the undocumented status of those arrested.  The plaintiffs are not seeking money or redress, only a declaration that the Sheriff’s office does racially profile Latinos and a court order forcing them to change their policies.

Among the people taking the stand last week were:

Ralph Taylor, a Temple University professor who did a statistical analysis showing that Hispanics were 34-40% more likely to be checked for immigration status during saturation patrols than non-Hispanics were.   Taylor also found that Hispanics who had been pulled over tended to be stopped for 2.6 minutes (22%) longer than non-Hispanics.

David Vasquez, an IT specialist from Mesa, AZ, testifying about an instance when he was pulled over for a crack in his windshield that was not hampering his visibility.  Vasquez questions whether the officer who detained him could have even seen the crack from where he was parked.

David Rodriguez, who was stopped in December 2007 and ticketed for driving on a closed road, even though others driving on the same road only received warnings.

MSCO Deputy Louis DiPietro, who in 2007 pulled over a Caucasian man who was driving two day laborers he said he had picked up for work.  DiPietro then called investigators to come and pick up the day laborers, an incident the plaintiffs are using as evidence that deputies would equate day laborers with undocumented immigrants.

The trial is expected to continue this week and end mid-next week.  Commentators are calling the trial a prelude to a separate Department of Justice trial against Arpaio, which further delves into questions of neglected sex-crimes investigations, police retaliation against critics, and punishment of Latino inmates for speaking Spanish.  The date of that trial has not yet been set.

Originally posted to AmericasVoice on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Arpaio has already testified this morning (9+ / 0-)

    and it did not go well for Sheriff Joe.

    Arpaio's words used against him

    Besides claiming that he was suffering from a touch of the flu, same as last year when he said was suffering a touch of the flu during Andrew Thomas's disbarment hearings, Sheriff Joe tried claiming that he couldn't remember.
    But, the lawyers for the plaintiffs said it did not matter, since they had Sheriff Joe on tape and quotes from his book to make their case.

    Stanley Young, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the sheriff's immigration-enforcement plan was hatched in November 2005 after Arpaio received a letter from the Minutemen group asking why law enforcement agencies in Arizona refused to question day laborers about their immigration status.

    Young then played a video clip from a 2007 news conference where Arpaio described the sheriff's immigration-enforcement efforts as a "pure program" designed to target illegal immigrants regardless of whether they had violated Arizona law.

    "I'm not afraid to say that, you go after them and you lock them up," Arpaio said during the news conference.

    Arpaio's Racial Profiling Trial
    Basically, anytime Arpaio was shown some of the blatant bigotry in that book, he blamed it on co-author Len Sherman. And this was despite being read back his testimony from a previous deposition in which he'd said he didn't need to read his own book because he'd written it himself.

    Arpaio was forced by Young to back off from a couple of statements in the book, including one in which he wrote that Mexicans don't come to the United States with the same hopes and dreams as people from other countries.. In another part of the book, Young pointed out, Arpaio wrote that second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans were not part of the American "mainstream."

    "My co-author wrote that," Arpaio blurted out.

    They then broke for lunch.
    •  And then there was (0+ / 0-)

      his appearance on Lou Dobbs back in 2007, when he spoke glowingly of the Klan, in contrast to his testimony yesterday, when he denied that.

      Sheriff Joe has the flu?  Must be the hateflu.

      The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

      by PSzymeczek on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:46:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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