Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio, Jerry Sheridan Spanked by Judge G. Murray Snow Over Melendres Remarks

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In Snow's May 2013 ruling, he found that the MCSO had used race in determining whom to stop during its notorious immigration sweeps, and also in determining where the sweeps would take place.

In October of the same year, he outlined the actions and policies needed to end the MCSO's pattern of profiling Latinos.

These included the retraining of deputies, keeping records of the ethnicities of those stopped, the outfitting of patrol cars with cameras, and the appointment of a monitor to oversee these and other issues.

In January, Snow appointed former Rochester, New York, police chief Robert Warshaw to monitor the MCSO's compliance. Warshaw was in court today, and sat silent on the dais, to Snow's right.

During the court session, Snow addressed attempts by both Arpaio and Sheridan to slough off responsibility for the MCSO's being found guilty of racial profiling.

They've done this by blaming the training the MCSO received from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

See, ICE training was given to MCSO deputies when the MCSO was participating in that agency's 287(g) program.

The 287(g) program cross-deputizes local law enforcement agents to act as immigration enforcers. The MCSO has long since been booted from the program.

Whether or not the MCSO received "inappropriate" instructions from ICE, Snow declared that it had been completely inappropriate for the MCSO to use pre-textual stops during the sweeps.

Concerning the MCSO's policies and practices, like using pre-textual stops, "the sheriff bears responsibility" for them, said Snow.

He also pointed out that he could have found the sheriff in contempt for not complying with an order he issued as far back as December 2011.

"It is not a criminal violation to be in this country without authorization," he explained of that order, adding that the MCSO had "no authorization to detain anyone merely...in this country without authorization."

In 2011, Snow enjoined the MCSO from "detaining any person based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States."

As part of his ruling in May 2013, Snow found the MCSO had violated that injunction.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons