Joe Arpaio Can be Sued by Detained Hispanics: Judge Grants Class Status in Lawsuit to Hispanics Stopped by Arpaio's Deputies, Orders Halt to Human-Smuggling Enforcement in Current Form
U.S. District G. Murray Snow ruled today that any Hispanic stopped by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies since January 1, 2007 -- or will be stopped in the future -- can sue the Sheriff's Office in a class-action lawsuit. The ruling in the Melendres racial-profiling case also enjoins the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office from detaining any person based only on the belief that the person might be in the country illegally.
At yesterday's hearing, Arpaio's lawyer said such a prohibition would hamper the ability of MCSO to conduct law enforcement in general. While that may have been an exaggeration, it seems clear the ruling will make it difficult for the sheriff to conduct enforcement operations based on the state's human-smuggling law. That law is how Arpaio justifies the saturation patrols in which illegal immigrants are rounded up.
Snow's latest ruling also hands Arpaio's office some minor victories, including the dismissal of two counts regarding David and Jessika Rodriguez, who say they were hassled while driving near Bartlett ake. The ruling doesn't dismiss the case in favor of the plaintiffs, so in that respect it shows that Snow isn't fully convinced -- something Arpaio's lawyer brought up yesterday.
Snow wants a trial to decide the issue, obviously -- but it'll be one in which he's the prime
fact-finder, and one in which he's already signaled in another ruling made public today that he's not happy with the MCSO's dirty tactics, both in the case and on the streets as probable profilers.
If you've been waiting for serious action to come down against Arpaio, this is it.
Here's the ruling:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- Transgender Woman Barred From Tempe Mosque Unless She Dresses as a Man or Can "Prove"...
Fri., Sep. 11, 7:00pm
Fri., Sep. 11, 7:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 6:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 8:00pm
- Domestic Violence Victim Evicted for Calling 911 Sues Arizona City
- Alleged Arizona Terrorist Charged with Supporting Islamic State