[JURIST] A federal judge on Friday found Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio [official profile] in contempt of court [order] for “intentionally” disobeying orders to stop the racial profiling of Latinos. Arpaio, who has dubbed himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” had been ordered by the court in 2013 to cease extreme tactics aimed at ending illegal immigration, which have included “saturation patrols” [NPR report] in which people are stopped and their immigration status is checked. Those in the lawsuit allege that this constitutes nothing more than racial profiling. A hearing is set for May 31 to determine remedies to ensure Arpaio’s compliance and provide damages to the parties.
Last July the US Department of Justice and county officials in Phoenix agreed to settle [JURIST report] parts of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in 2012. The DOJ filed charges against the Sheriff’s Office for discriminatory practices in traffic stops, work and home raids, and in county jails, as well as claims of retaliation.The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] in April of last year that Arpaio engaged in practices of racial profiling when conducting traffic stops, and in June a judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona issued [JURIST report] a pre-trial order accepting the other court’s finding of racial profiling. In January of last year a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] Maricopa County officials may not enforce two Arizona identity-theft laws used to convict hundreds of undocumented immigrant workers. In October 2014 a federal judge ordered [JURIST report] Arpaio to undergo the same training as his deputies to assist in the prevention of racial profiling and unlawful detention in the Sheriff’s Office as part of the ongoing case against Arpaio for racial profiling. In 2013 a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] that Arpaio and his department engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling during the execution of immigration patrols.