Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Case Costs County Over $1 Million So Far, with More to Come

Page 3 of 3

Rather, findings of fact dominated the decision, he said, and it was highly unlikely the appellate court would set those findings of fact aside unless they were "clearly erroneous."

Which is even more unlikely given that the evidence in Melendres came right from the horses' mouths: that is, from the testimony, the documents, and the stats provided by the MCSO, as well as Arpaio's own statements and statements drawn from the MCSO's press releases.

In fact, part of the ruling has already been appealed by the defendants and upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It was an earlier order of Snow's dealing with violations by the MCSO of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.

In his most recent ruling, Snow found that the MCSO had violated his earlier order. That part of Snow's ruling will be virtually impossible to overturn, and it is unlikely that the Ninth will look kindly on the MCSO's flouting of Snow's previous decision in the case.

As for Casey and the MCSO's spin that the agency's seven years of discriminatory policing from 2006 to 2013 is due to training received by the MCSO's 287g officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Pochoda wasn't impressed.

"ICE could go tell them to go jump off a bridge," he said. "ICE doing something unconstitutional is no excuse for them doing something unconstitutional. And of course, ICE didn't have any advice [for them] on the Fourth Amendment issues, keeping people longer than they should have. In any case, we will win the appeal."

Also, as I've pointed out previously, the MCSO's ICE-spin ignores ICE's suspension of the MCSO's 287g field authority in 2009. At the time Arpaio thumbed his nose at the move by ICE, vowing that nothing would change.

The sheriff even had nativist attorney Kris Kobach come in and train ALL of MCSO's deputies in immigration matters at taxpayer expense.

But today is a new day. No longer defiant, the MCSO has signaled that it will comply with the judge's order. Reportedly, the agency has halted work-site enforcement raids and highway patrols hunting Hispanics. Ads on MCSO vans advertising Arpaio's anti-immigrant hotline are being removed, and the hotline's phone number is down.

Why would the county want to appeal? So it can go back to profiling Latinos and put the signs back on MCSO vehicles?

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