Joe Arpaio Struggles in Racial-Profiling Trial to Answer Examples of Seemingly Bigoted Leadership

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a self-promoting bigot of a politician who influences his deputies with discriminatory ideas that flow down from the top.


That was the underlying theme of hours of questioning by Stanley Young, one of the lawyers who represents Hispanics suing the county in a major racial-profiling case that continued today. As the advocate for the Hispanic plaintiffs in the case, Young did an impressive job using Arpaio's past statements, speeches and news releases to make the sheriff look like a racist.

Tim Casey, Arpaio's attorney, stole some of Young's wind during cross examination, allowing Arpaio to impress on U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow that reasonable explanations existed for many of Arpaio's outrageous quotes and antics.

The main question after today's testimony was whether Snow, the final arbiter in the jury-less trial, will perceive a strong link between Arpaio's bluster about illegal immigrants and how his deputies treated Hispanics.

Many details from the trial that began last week have been examined piecemeal by the public since the legal immigrant Ortega Melendres first launched his lawsuit in December 2007. But when these examples were placed back-to-back today by Young, Arpaio had to feel  bludgeoned.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.