‘Sloppy, Joe’: Sheriff Arpaio Loses Big Immigration-Related Racial Discrimination Case

Fans of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his berserker approach to immigration law enforcement, you had a bad day in court last Friday: Sheriff Joe’s department in Maricopa County, Arizona was found to have engaged in illegal racial profiling in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).  They stated that they look forward to the result having a deterrent effect in other jurisdictions — although they did not mention Orange County by name.

The money quote from the ruling:

“[Arpaio’s department] failed to have a clear policy that required execution of the saturation patrols and other enforcement efforts in a race-neutral manner; made no efforts to determine whether its officers were engaging in racially-biased enforcement during its saturation patrols, and failed to comply with standard police practices concerning record-keeping maintained by other law enforcement authorities engaged in such operations.”

Joe Arpaio face superimposed on a Sloppy Joe

We do a lot of food policy writing here, but let’s not even *discuss* the implications of this illustration, OK?

Surprise, surprise.  Who could have possibly seen this coming — other than almost everyone?

A federal judge ruled on Friday that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio engaged in racial profiling of Latinos, violating their constitutional rights in his crackdown on illegal immigration. Civil rights advocates expect the ruling to send a chilling message to other law enforcement agencies that are planning to engage in immigration enforcement.

In his ruling, U.S. Federal District Judge Murray Snow found that sheriff’s deputies engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination against Latinos during immigration sweeps and enforcement of state immigration laws.

The long-awaited decision in a trial that ended last July represents a pivotal moment for Arizona civil rights organizations and immigrant rights groups that spent the last five years denouncing Arpaio’s high-profile crusade against undocumented immigrants.

At the heart of the trial was proving that Arpaio’s agency had the intent to discriminate during its immigration operations or “crime suppression patrols” and that it has engaged in a practice of racial profiling of Latinos that remains to this day.

Arpaio’s office says that it will comply with the order, but will appeal — failing to add “hey, we’re spending the public’s money, not ours.”

This is just a reminder: sometimes those of us who warn about such things are, among other things, trying to save taxpayers money.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)