A federal judge in Phoenix has taken Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to task for failing to implement his orders to stop profiling Latinos, The New York Times
Judge Murray Snow lectured Arpaio and his chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, that being present illegally in the country is not a violation of the U.S. criminal code. The judge had ordered both men back to court to tell them they had deliberately disregarded his May anti-profiling order.
The lawmen were recorded on video telling deputies that Snow's order was "ludicrous," "crap," and "absurd." Arpaio added, "We don't racially profile, I don't care what everybody says."
The judge told the men that contrary to his order, deputies continued to single out Latinos in raids at gathering spots for day laborers and in traffic stops.
"Do you believe you're in good-faith compliance with the order if in trainings, in briefings, you mischaracterize the order?" the judge asked.
Sheridan replied: "I'm ashamed of the things I said. I mischaracterized your order, there is no doubt about that. I had gotten some facts incorrect."
Outside court, Arpaio told reporters: "We'll be appealing this case anyway. Stay tuned."
Arpaio, 81, has become a national figure for his opposition to illegal immigration. He has a campaign war chest of over $3 million as he prepares to run for a seventh term in 2016.
There are two federal cases against Arpaio. The class-action lawsuit before Snow brought by Latinos who say they are affected by Arpaio's policies, and a Justice Department civil rights suit charging that there has been a pattern of anti-Latino discrimination by Arpaio's department.
Snow ordered Arpaio's lawyers to summarize his order in writing to ensure that it was understood and available as a training tool for sheriff's deputies. The judge, who has appointed monitors to scrutinize the sheriff's office, said he was prepared to place more monitors if needed.
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