An independent monitor and community advisory board has been appointed to ensure that an Arizona sheriff isn’t practicing unconstitutional discrimination.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow found that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Joe Arpaio singled out Latinos and prolonged detentions.
The findings came after a small group of Latinos sued the sheriff’s office for violating their constitutional rights.
The group alleged that their detention was based on their race and not crimes committed.
In his ruling Wednesday, Snow ordered that a monitor be appointed to oversee the agency’s re-training of deputies and ensure the office is complying with constitutional requirements. Snow also ordered the creation of a community advisory board aimed at helping restore the public’s confidence, among other remedies. Arpaio’s office had vehemently opposed the appointment of a monitor, arguing it would mean every one of his policy decisions would have to be cleared through the observer and would nullify his authority.
Arizona has remained at the crux of the nation immigration debate due to its controversial law Arizona SB 1070.
A portion of the law allows police in the state to ask people they stop about their immigration status.
Judge Snow’s ruling prohibits using race as a factor in deciding whether to stop a vehicle with an occupant of color.
The U.S. Justice Department filed a similar lawsuit last year that also alleges racial profiling by Arpaio’s office. Its suit, however, claims broader civil rights violations, such as allegations that Arpaio’s agency retaliates against its critics and punishes Latino jail inmates with limited English skills for speaking Spanish. Arpaio has denied the claims.
Thoughts on the ruling?
Should resources be allocated towards re-training officers instead of terminating them?
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