Federal Judge Slams MCSO Policy, Says He'll Make Ruling in Melendres Racial-Profiling Case Within Two Days

Categories: Bad Cops

young stanley 2 with pochoda.jpg
Image: Ray Stern
Lawyer Stanley Young, (left), said he was "encouraged" by a judge's comments in today's hearing on a racial profiling lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office. Next to Young is Dan Pochoda of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.

U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow today criticized the policies of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in a lawsuit alleging racial profiling by deputies, and says he'll make a decision in one or two days.

Overall, this morning's hearing in the Ortega Melendres vs. MCSO lawsuit seemed to go well for the plaintiffs in the case, who say they're victims of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pattern of civil-rights violations.

The four-year-old case highlights the evidence that Arpaio has run race-based investigations and generally makes life tougher for the Valley's Hispanic population, all with the goal of appeasing his right-wing base.

The plaintiffs seek an injunction they hope would end Arpaio's race-based practices.

Today's hearing came just days after the U.S. Department of Justice announced findings that the MCSO routinely and intentionally targets Hispanics. In a probe that began in 2008, the feds said they came to the conclusion that Arpaio oversees the worst racial profiling by a police agency in U.S. history.

Stanley Young, a lawyer for Covington & Burling, (the firm that's representing the plaintiffs along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund), said he thought today's hearing was "encouraging in a number of respects."


In particular, he noted that Snow asked "difficult questions" about MCSO's practices.

As we reported earlier today, Snow hammered Arpaio's lawyer, Timothy Casey, on the notion that deputies could detain someone to investigate
suspected violations of the state's human smuggling law based only on the
reasonable suspicion that one part of the law has been triggered.

Arpaio admits his deputies have no authority to enforce federal civil violations, and that being in the country illegally is a civil violation, not criminal. Yet deputies get around this legal line in the sand by claiming that since being in the country illegally is an element of the state crime of human smuggling, deputies can detain someone based on the suspected civil violation in order to gather evidence of the suspected crime.

Casey said the theory is well supported by case law, but Snow disagreed.

"I think you're wrong on that point, Mr. Casey," Snow said, threatening that he might issue an order to prevent MCSO from exercising that policy.

Young pounced on that weakness when it was his turn to speak, emphasizing that the "one element" used to justify the detention of a suspected human smuggler cuts to the heart of the racial-profiling allegations in the Melendres case -- because the suspicion that the person is in the country illegally is based on the person's appearance.

The policy is wrong because "you cannot use race as a factor" this far from the border, in a major urban area with a strong Hispanic population, Young said.

Young spent some time running down the examples of how Arpaio himself sets the tone his office and how the sheriff personally ordered action based on letters from local bigots.

For example, Arpaio told a letter writer in August of 2008 that he'd look into complaints about Sun City McDonald's workers speaking Spanish, and passed along the letter to Deputy Chief Brian Sands with the note "for our operation." An immigration sweep was soon conducted in Sun City.

Tom Liddy, a lawyer for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office helping to defend Arpaio's office, denied that the sheriff told anyone to look into the matter -- a denial that's directly contradicted by the evidence.

New Times previously reported on the contents of some of these letters.

Young mentions how a woman wrote to Arpaio that he has the right to stop people based on their accents or skin color, and said that when her Italian mother was profiled by authorities during World War Two, it was "the right thing to do."

Arpaio told the woman in a handwritten note that he enjoyed the story about her mom and was happy for the woman's support. In another letter, a bigot mentions the "dark skin" of some illegal immigrants and begs the sheriff to come to north Phoenix and "round them all up."

Arpaio wrote to Sands to "have someone handle that," Young said.

"This uncontested evidence shows the racial motivation," Young argued, adding that the law doesn't say the plaintiffs have to prove that race was the only reason to initiate enforcement actions. If race was just one of the reasons, the action violates the 14th Amendment against equal protection, he said.

Snow is weighing several options for his decision.

He could decide to set a date for a bench trial in the Melendres case, something that the plaintiffs didn't want. If that happens, says Casey, it'll show that the plaintiffs' arguments have so far failed to convince the judge.

Of course, while that may be true, the judge could always rule in favor of the plaintiffs later.

Snow said he would expedite the case, in the event of a trial, because it's been going on so long already.

The plaintiffs are asking instead for a summary judgment in their favor and an injunction against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office from committing racial profiling.

At a Q&A after the hearing, Young told reporters that if Snow grants the injunction, court-appointed monitors would oversee new training for deputies and a record-keeping system that would prevent Arpaio's troops from racially profiling suspects.

Arpaio's lawyers deny that the sheriff and his deputies ever committed racial profiling, so enforcing an injunction could be tricky.

The office doesn't play fair -- and MCSO proved it in this case with the destruction of evidence like e-mails and reports on Arpaio's immigration sweeps. Snow ordered sanctions against the MCSO last year because of the destroyed evidence.

Snow said he's still not satisfied that Arpaio has turned over all records that might be pertinent to the case.

Young said today that although the lawsuit was filed in 2007 and the MCSO was under orders to preserve documents, a deputy was trashing e-mails possibly relevant to the case in late 2009.

When we asked Casey about that, he emphatically denied it. So we double-checked with Young, who assured us it was the case. When we asked Casey again, he said he wasn't really sure.

As New Times reported previously (see the above link on the sanctions article), that officials at MCSO:


... copped to the document destruction, as well as to not preserving all e-mails pertaining to the dragnets, as they should have been doing.

Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre attempted to take the fall in an affidavit in which he stated that he simply "forgot" to forward on the request for documents that had been relayed by ... Casey.


Maybe Arpaio figures he doesn't need credibility when he can count true believers like his favorite letter writers among supporters.


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48 comments
murmur55
murmur55

Arpaio and his officers are refusing to use proper restraint technique as well, resulting in a recent death. Restraint deaths will continue until citizens demand criminal prosecution of LEOs.

Asphyxial Death During Prone Restraint Revisited: 21 Cases http://bit.ly/p86G5F

Colorado police should learn Wyoming’s lesson - The SCOTUS agrees with a lower court that death in restraint due to suffocation is unconstitutional.  http://bit.ly/q0Euds

Gwmwllc
Gwmwllc

When will the Mexican occupation of the US end? Sherrif Joe is one of a few law enforcement individuals who understands a simple fact: "illegal immigrant" = an individual who is not in the United States legally. Being that the "illegal immigrant" has broken our  (and Barrack Hussien Obwama's) Federal Immigration Laws and entered the United States through illegal means, he / she is subject to a crime and as such, he / she is subject to deportation. Is that difficult to understand?

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

What Mexican occupation of the US?  WTF are you babbling about?  You, and/or the Shurf, can't know what the circumstances are which causes an individual to appear in this country sans proper documentation.  It might be any number of things - overstaying a visa, a work visa that might be in transition for renewal, a person working as an embassy staff member, a migrant worker, etc.  For someone who presents themselves as so sure of what is illegal or not, It is difficult to comprehend how out of touch with the reality of our immigration system you are.  I'd say it is probably ignorance.  Please school yourself.  Start with learning our constitution and how it says the Federal Government ALONE is responsible for immigration NOT County Sheriffs.  Arpayoso is acting in an un-constitutional manner and he should have been pulled up by his short hairs long ago.

anyafanq
anyafanq

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J  Wilkes
J Wilkes

You cannot  arrest "human smugglers"....on the Mexican bordersand use  the  profiling  to stop  vans  stuffed with 12 people...if you thinkthey might be "Mexican" 

Are you kidding judge?    The entire federal admin is complicit in destroyingour borders ....our laws....and  spitting on millions waiting around the worldto "legally" immigrate.

Abuse of power.... Failure to enforce the law of the land... states and citizensmust now defend themselve  ...from the thugs and judiciary.

Mistalee
Mistalee

What a fucking moron you are. Sheriff Joke can't arrest "human smugglers on the Mexican borders" because the border is far outside of his jurisdiction. Targeting people because they speak Spanish or play Spanish music in an area that has ALWAYS had a large Hispanic population is racism and nothing but racism. Sheriff Joke needs to go. Actually, for his responsibility in the deaths of Atencio and numerous others, he needs to be dancing the air-kazatsky while shitting his pants at the end of a rope, but we'll settle for getting him out.

Kay
Kay

 I'm still laughing my ass off!!

Kay
Kay

Now that's funny!!

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

Never trust a slant eyed slope head chinaman. those chinks cant be trusted!

alehound
alehound

i need a 12yo girl for the holidays, any ideas?

Gwmwllc
Gwmwllc

MAJOR NEWSBREAK: When will this occupation of the US by illegals end.Ask a Mexican when he / she will end their occupation of the US and return to Mexico.

victor salas
victor salas

http://roxa70.blogspot.com/Feliz navidad from all of us to you! amanda austria amandaaustria@ymail.com Anneke Hut annekeatchange@gmail.com barbara bergstrand native7879@live.com beth sanchez sanchezbeth71@yahoo.com Bob Menendez info@menendezfornj.com Edward Laurson gglaurson@msn.com Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com Cynthia Brower brower.cynthia@yahoo.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Bruce Combs bcombs@ecologyfund.net DONNA MOCK goldielocks106@gmail.com Brax Lopez ibrax67@gmail.com Giovanni Conti giovannixconti@gmail.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com Daryl Caggiano daryl.caggiano@gmail.com Edward Laurson gglaurson@msn.com christina barro christina.barro@yahoo.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Bruce Combs bcombs@ecologyfund.net Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com Deborah de Santos deborah@obfthepeople.org Giovanni Conti giovannixconti@gmail.com Cynthia Brower brower.cynthia@yahoo.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com christina barro christina.barro@yahoo.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com DONNA MOCK goldielocks106@gmail.com Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com Daryl Caggiano daryl.caggiano@gmail.com Edward Laurson gglaurson@msn.com Cynthia Brower brower.cynthia@yahoo.com Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com james m nordlund jamesmnordlund@yahoo.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com Deborah de Santos deborah@obfthepeople.org Giovanni Conti giovannixconti@gmail.com Daryl Caggiano daryl.caggiano@gmail.com jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com James Walker jwalk_451@hotmail.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com DONNA MOCK goldielocks106@gmail.com Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com Deborah de Santos deborah@obfthepeople.org james m nordlund jamesmnordlund@yahoo.com Jennifer Chenoweth jenniferchenoweth@gmail.com Edward Laurson gglaurson@msn.com jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com DONNA MOCK goldielocks106@gmail.com James Walker jwalk_451@hotmail.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com Giovanni Conti giovannixconti@gmail.com james m nordlund jamesmnordlund@yahoo.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com Jennifer Chenoweth jenniferchenoweth@gmail.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com James Walker jwalk_451@hotmail.com Edward Laurson gglaurson@msn.com jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com Dr Manolas tmrx17@gmail.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com John Choi lagunapong@hotmail.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com Jennifer Chenoweth jenniferchenoweth@gmail.com Giovanni Conti giovannixconti@gmail.com james m nordlund jamesmnordlund@yahoo.com Edward Laurson gglaurson@msn.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com John Richard Young wolfdog1990@netzero.net Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com James Walker jwalk_451@hotmail.com Giovanni Conti giovannixconti@gmail.com John Choi lagunapong@hotmail.com Josh Alfonso joshalfonso7@gmail.com jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com Jennifer Chenoweth jenniferchenoweth@gmail.com Gregory Bushur bushurg@yahoo.com John Richard Young wolfdog1990@netzero.net Judith Abel indiansummer80@gmx.net james m nordlund jamesmnordlund@yahoo.com John Choi lagunapong@hotmail.com Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com Jackie Tryggeseth jtrygges@hotmail.com Josh Alfonso joshalfonso7@gmail.com Julie Cavalca lotsofcoffee@aol.com James Walker jwalk_451@hotmail.com John Richard Young wolfdog1990@netzero.net jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com JiYoung Chung bellachung@hotmail.com Jacquelyn Judd jacquelynjudd@yahoo.com Judith Abel indiansummer80@gmx.net Karol Petersen petersensmrt@aol.com Jennifer Chenoweth jenniferchenoweth@gmail.com Josh Alfonso joshalfonso7@gmail.com james m nordlund jamesmnordlund@yahoo.com John Choi lagunapong@hotmail.com jake wallace professorjakeingles@gmail.com

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 This EMAIL Guy is RAT SNITCH PUNK!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

would be nice if he posted all the emails of the trolls in New Times. Would be funny to see they are all from one email address.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I am pretty sure most people don't like their Email being given out like that.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

The MCSO seems to have more memory deficits than an Alzheimer's ward.

Coz
Coz

It seems I Can't Recall is the norm for Bozo Joe and his Goons.

Theoldman
Theoldman

If only Arpaio would use that phrase (I can't recall) when someone asks him if he is still the "toughest sheriff". 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

yes. IT sure seems that way to me too!

Truth To Power
Truth To Power

Anyone else catch the statement that Arpaio knows being in the country without papers is a civil violation and not criminal? That should cause a lot of brown-hater's hair to curl. The old coot has been saying for years they're c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l-s who need to be locked up. You don't get locked up for civil offenses.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

nope you pay a fine. In some cases yes they can be deported, but in most they PAY a fine!

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 Are you a pseudo lawyer now? the other day you thought you were an internet doctor for new times. you need to GET A JOB SON! and quit wasting you days on here. no wonder you dont have a job. your to busy writing dribble on this new times blog. GET A JOB SON!

teknik1200
teknik1200

and are then able to stay.

all this "invasion" garbage is the thing that really burns me up though.

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 forgetfulness is a sign of drug use.

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 I want to see you self combust into a ball of flames.

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

what part of your body is burning? is it coming from your penis when you urinate?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

yes, they pay a fine are allowed to stay. I forgot to mention that part.

Yes. Invasion makes me think of a group of soldiers attacking us in large numbers. Historical invasions would be ones like D-Day and Operation Husky (IE the Invasion of Sicily!)

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

Some please repeat with me: 

 Sheriff Joke ArPayaso has been neutered!!!

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Yes, but he has not realized it yet.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

No Gerry, I do think he realizes it.  That is why he is so desperate to draw attention away from all the negative press. 

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

It's taken over 4 years for this case to get to this point?    Why, because the DOJ just released a hand slap notice to the MCSO?   I don't look for anything substantial to happen.    It is after all the land that time forgot.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

because from the sounds of it MCSO dragged their feet so they could destroy the evidence?

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 Dragging feet is a sign of either drug abuse or a heart attack or old fashioned drunkeness.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

"Tom Liddy, a lawyer for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office helping to defend Arpaio's office, denied that the sheriff told anyone to look into the matter -- a denial that's directly contradicted by the evidence."

I didn't realize lawyers for MCSO came from crakerjack boxes.

Question:  we pay for Arpaio and then do we also pay for his quack lawyer?

I think we do.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Seems Tom should have consulted his dad, G. Gorden Liddy!  Now that man know corruption!

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 And he is an ex convict now buying gold on tv commercials. aint America great?

Vic
Vic

G. Gordon Liddy, another tough guy, or at least he thought he was.  Seems he wassent up the river once.  Yup, him and Joe are two peas from the same pot.  And Joedeserves to take that same little river trip!

Jim
Jim

 I Bumped into G Gordan Liddy on purpose at the Safeway store on T bird near 64th ave one day. he freaked out with fear in his big Irish eyes and said im sorry to me that day. he was scared shitless of a big bad assed 1%er biker like me. this is a true story. he is a punk and a loud mouth but cant back it up.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I thought that name sounded familiar!

81 Nomad 81
81 Nomad 81

 He is way before your time youngster. you missed out on all the good times in America. those days are gone with the winds of time. now life is boring lame cheap fake compared to back then.

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