Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan Mouths Off, Arpaio and Sheridan Head to the Woodshed March 24

Page 3 of 3

Sheridan goes on to say that the MCSO is still obliged to implement Snow's injunction while the MCSO appeals.

But Sheridan, according to Snow, opines that, "based on [Sheridan's] apparently unfavorable view of the Ninth Circuit, that the Ninth Circuit would not only uphold the ruling but commend the District Court."

So the MCSO will appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, because, the chief deputy explains,

"...it is not just my opinion, and the Sheriff's opinion, but every lawyer that I've talked to that it is Judge Snow that violated the United States Constitution. It's Judge Snow that violated the Tenth Amendment. The Federal Government does not have the authority to do what he did."

Who knew Chief Sheridan was such a constitutional scholar?

But there's more, much more.

See, in May 2013, Snow found Arpaio's office guilty of racial profiling Latino drivers.

One of Snow's requirements meant to remedy this situation is that the MCSO keep records of the ethnicity of those stopped.

At the October 18 training, Sheridan presents the deputies with a new form, on which they are "required to record their perception of the race and ethnicity of all of the vehicles occupants both before and after every stop they make."

(Note: the judge's order only required that deputies record this info after a stop is made.)

Then, with the video running, Sheridan gives his deputies some free advice on filling out the forms.

Snow describes the passage in the video, thus:

...Chief Deputy Sheridan indicated that determining ethnicity would be hard to do without asking and he said that he felt it was "absurd" for the deputies to be asked to guess. He then asked for the door to be closed because did not want the media to hear what he had to say. After the door closed he said they were "safe," but he then noted the camera in the room. He then emphasized that perceiving the ethnicity before the stop would be particularly hard to do.

He emphasized that there might be reasons that someone might not be able to ascertain the racial identity of occupants of a stopped vehicle and he offered several reasons why they might find it impractical. In doing so, it appears to the Court that he was suggesting to the deputies that they were not obliged to use their best reasonable efforts to comply with the Court's order.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons