Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Doomsday: Arpaio Loses ACLU Civil Rights Lawsuit, MCSO Enjoined from Racially Profiling Latinos

Page 2 of 2

[I]n determining whom it will detain and/or investigate, both with respect to its LEAR policy, and in its enforcement of immigration-related state law, the MCSO continues to take into account a suspect's Latino identity as one factor in evaluating those persons whom it encounters. In Maricopa County, as the MCSO acknowledged and stipulated prior to trial, Latino ancestry is not a factor on which it can rely in arriving at reasonable suspicion or forming probable cause that a person is in the United States without authorization.

Thus, to the extent it uses race as a factor in arriving at reasonable suspicion or forming probable cause to stop or investigate persons of Latino ancestry for being in the country without authorization, it violates the Fourth Amendment. In addition, it violates the Plaintiff class's right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Read G. Murray's Snow's 142 page ruling in Melendres v. Arpaio.

As a result, Snow is laying down the law:

"For the reasons set forth above," he writes, "Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief to protect them from usurpation of rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution.

"Therefore, in the absence of further facts that would give rise to reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a violation of either federal criminal law or applicable state law is occurring, the MCSO is enjoined from (1) enforcing its LEAR policy, (2) using Hispanic ancestry or race as any factor in making law enforcement decisions pertaining to whether a person is authorized to be in the country, and (3) unconstitutionally lengthening stops."

"The evidence introduced at trial establishes that, in the past, the MCSO has aggressively protected its right to engage in immigration and immigration-related enforcement operations even when it had no accurate legal basis for doing so.

"Such policies have apparently resulted in the violation of this court's own preliminary injunction entered in this action in December 2011. The Court will therefore, upon further consideration and after consultation with the parties, order additional steps that may be necessary to effectuate the merited relief."

Join the effort to recall Arpaio from power.

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