This week, a federal judge prohibited an anti-immigration sheriff from using racial profiling to target Latinos by ordering a monitor to make sure racial discrimination would no longer occur during law-enforcement stops.
Wednesday’s court order follows up on U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s ruling from May that Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling of Latinos during immigration raids. Some key court order mandates include: mounting cameras on every police car, radioing in the reason for stopping a driver before officers can approach the vehicle, recording all stops with audio and video, and barring the use of traffic stop quotas.
What’s more, Arpaio and his officers cannot rely “on a suspect’s speaking Spanish, or speaking English with an accent, or appearance as a day laborer as a factor in developing reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe a person has committed or is committing any crime, or reasonable suspicion to believe that an individual is in the country without authorization.”
Arpaio has already begun the process of appealing May’s court ruling. In a released statement, Arpaio indicated that he would find a way:
I have received a copy of the court order and I am in the process of discussing it with our attorneys. We are identifying areas that are ripe for appeal. To be clear, the appointed monitor will have no veto authority over my duties or operations. As the constitutionally elected Sheriff of Maricopa County, I serve the people and I will continue to perform my duties and enforce all laws.
Since he became the Maricopa County Sheriff, Arpaio has taken the lead on questionable prosecution tactics and been the subject of numerous racial profiling lawsuits. Just last week, another federal judge forbade Arpaio’s office from charging undocumented immigrants for conspiracy for paying so-called “coyotes” for smuggling them across the border.