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DOJ asks federal judge to deny motion to dismiss Arizona police discrimination case

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has asked the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] to reject the request [JURIST report] by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio [official website] to dismiss the lawsuit pending against him that claims his office discriminated against Latinos and disregarded their constitutional rights. The DOJ had filed [JURIST report] a suit [complaint, PDF] in May against Maricopa County, Arizona [official websites], the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Arpaio alleging that they were engaging in racial profiling of Latinos, punishing inmates for speaking Spanish and conducting immigration patrols based solely on community complaints that there were individuals with dark skin roaming around the neighbor despite the fact that no crime was reported.

The DOJ had conducted a comprehensive and independent investigation initiated in June 2008 under Section 14141 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 [text, PDF] and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [DOJ materials]. After the DOJ found reasonable cause that the sheriff's office engage in a pattern of discriminatory practice, it filed a suit against Arpaio.

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