Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that his agency systematically singled out Latinos in its trademark immigration patrols, marking the first finding by a court that the agency racially profiles people.
Tim Casey, the lead attorney representing America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in the case, said an appeal of the finding that the agency racially profiles people was planned in the next 30 days.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow in Phoenix backs up years of allegations from Arpaio’s critics who say his officers violate the constitutional rights of Latinos in relying on race in their immigration enforcement.
Snow, whose ruling came more than eight months after a seven-day, non-jury trial, also ruled Arpaio’s deputies unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people who were pulled over.
The ruling marks a thorough repudiation of the immigration patrols that made Arpaio a national political figure, and it represents a victory for those who pushed the lawsuit.
“For too long the sheriff has been victimizing the people he’s meant to serve with his discriminatory policy,” said Cecillia D. Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Right Project. “Today we’re seeing justice for everyone in the county.”
Monetary damages weren’t sought in the lawsuit but rather a declaration that Arpaio’s office engages in racial profiling and an order that requires it to make policy changes.