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Nothing to see here, move along.
That's the message conveyed by the opening remarks of Tim Casey, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's $755,000 lawyer in the ACLU's big racial profiling trial Melendres v. Arpaio, which kicked off this morning at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix.
Race and ethnicity had zip to do with any of the stops of the plaintiffs by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies, Casey told federal Judge G. Murray Snow.
You know, they just happened to be Hispanic.
The probable cause used by the MCSO during its Hispanic-hunting sweeps was "race neutral," contended the high-priced legal beagle.
As for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his statements "show no racial animus," Casey averred with a straight face.
Guess he forgot about Joe's remarks that all Mexican migrants are "dirty" and could be carrying "disease," or the time Arpaio said someone could be stopped by deputies if you "look like you just came from Mexico."
What about all the bigoted letters from the public that the MCSO used as pretexts for Arpaio's immigration sweeps?
Sure, there were letters sent to Arpaio with "racially offensive or insensitive remarks," admitted Casey, but "no law enforcement decisions" were made based on such letters.
Why, Arpaio "does not select the sites for the saturation patrols," Casey stated. All that's passed on to Deputy Chief Brian Sands, and race and ethnicity "plays no role" in Sands' selection of a neighborhood to smother with beige shirts.
So once again, Arpaio supposedly is not in control of his own organization: Even though he's always insisting in TV interviews that he's the "shurf" and is the man in command, and though Arpaio was at every sweep, dressed in his MCSO uniform with its abundance of stars on its lapels.
And if you believe Casey's twaddle, you'll believe Casey gives all that county dough he earns as Arpaio's mouthpiece to the Girl Scouts.