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Arpaio takes stand in profiling trial

July 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM   |   Comments

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PHOENIX, July 24 (UPI) -- Lawyers in Arizona's racial-profiling trial used Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's public statements against him as he testified Tuesday.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs immediately began using Arpaio's statements, press releases and books to depict him as a law enforcement officer whose policy on immigration enforcement is rife with discriminatory practices and in accordance with requests made by local racist and extremist groups, the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

Stanley Young, a plaintiff attorney, pointed out Arpaio's immigration enforcement plan was conceived in 2005 after Arpaio received a letter from the Minuteman militia group, asking why Arizona law enforcement agencies never question day laborers about their immigration status. Young then played a video in court of a 2007 news conference in which Arpaio said his plan was designed to target illegal immigrants whether or not they violated Arizona laws.

Arpaio attempted to clarify his position while testifying, the newspaper said, as Young produced other inflammatory statements Arpaio had made.

Arpaio attempted to deflect responsibility for some statements on staff members and the co-author of his biography, as he had done in numerous depositions and sworn statements prior to the trail, the newspaper said.

The case alleges the sheriff's office engaged in institutional discrimination against Latinos, and seeks injunctive relief instead of monetary damages, specifically a declaration spelling out what deputies can and cannot do when stopping potential suspects, and a court-appointed monitor to ensure the agency abides by the rules.

Topics: Joe Arpaio
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