Judge orders monitor in Arpaio racial profiling case
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: AP)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
A federal judge has ordered the appointment of a monitor and a community advisory board to ensure that an Arizona sheriff is complying with constitutional requirements after finding his office engages in racial profiling.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled in May that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have unreasonably singled out Latinos.
Snow also ordered the creation of a community advisory board aimed at helping restore the public's confidence.
Arpaio's lawyers said an appeal is likely of at least some portions of the order.
Arpaio weighed in with a statement Wednesday afternoon:
"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."
Carlos Garcia, organizer with Puente Arizona, issued the following statement in the wake of the ruling:
"Our community declared Arpaio guilty of racial profiling years ago. The only real justice for our community will come when Arpaio is out of office, stripped of all the power that he has used to make us suffer and separate our families.
"Judge Snow's ruling and the implementation of an independent monitor may potentially help to stop some of the raids and racial profiling that MCSO continues to use to terrorize our community, if this monitor actually has the power to enact changes in the sheriff's department.
"Our community also must continue to document the abuse we suffer at the hands of the Sheriff and his deputies in order to truly bring him to justice. We demand that all of Arpaio's victims facing deportation be immediately freed from detention and that all of those deported because of his abuses be allowed to return home."
The nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization, MALDEF, also weighed in.
"We are hopeful that these long-awaited reforms will bring much needed change to the sheriff's office," said MALDEF Western Regional Counsel Nancy Ramirez.
In the ruling, Judge Snow said the order's requirements must remain in place for no less than three years.
"Under the measures put in place by the court, Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies will no longer be able to run roughshodover people's basic rights as guaranteed by the Constitution," said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project.
"MCSO can no longer balk at reform," Wang said. "Every person in Maricopa County deserves better than a sheriff's department that commits pervasive civil rights violations at the expense of public safety. The court's order will make sure the agency actually enforces the law and will no longer go on wild goose chases based on racial stereotypes."
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.