Sheriff Joe Arpaio's department to be monitored for racial profiling

Oct. 2, 2013 at 10:38 PM   |   Comments

PHOENIX, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A federal judge's ruling released Wednesday requires a monitor look over Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's shoulder to watch for any racial profiling by his staff.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow, who in May found the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office engaged in discrimination, outlined the role of the monitor and the extent of community involvement in ensuring the profiling problem is over, The Arizona Republic reported.

The Phoenix newspaper said the Sheriff's Office and the American Civil Liberties Union had spent the past several months negotiating a mutually agreeable solution.

Among the steps to be taken is the creation of an "implementation unit" to serve as a liaison between the ACLU, the monitor and the Sheriff's Office.

The Republic said the attorney for the Sheriff's Office, Tim Casey, said Snow's decision will be appealed but that the agency will comply with the ruling in the meantime. Casey said the Sheriff's Office was satisfied with the monitor's role, as laid out by the judge.

Snow's ruling says the court-appointed expert and its staff will review Sheriff's Office policies, protocols and training, and will perform after-action assessments of whether the agency is in compliance.

"The sheriff still remains in exclusive charge of the MCSO, he still sets the policy, still sets the programs and makes the sole decision on discretionary items," Casey said. "The monitor has absolutely no veto power whatsoever on any law-enforcement decision."

Dan Pochoda of the ACLU of Arizona said Snow gave the plaintiffs everything they sought.

"I do think they need the ruling. It does appear there have been some changes [in the Sheriff's Office], some that have to do with other factors," he said. "But I believe that there's still a significant culture that exists that led to the discrimination and led to some of the stereotyping of Latinos and Mexicans. That doesn't change overnight and it's not easy."

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed after a Maricopa sheriff's deputy stopped a day laborer in 2007.

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