FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Phoenix - U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow today granted more than $4.4 million in attorney’s fees to four legal organizations that litigated Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al., a lawsuit challenging racially discriminatory law enforcement practices by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in Arizona. Attorney’s fees were granted to the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of Arizona, Covington & Burling, LLP, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, MALDEF.
Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Right’s Project and one of the trial lawyers in the case, issued the following comment:
"Sheriff Arpaio and those who supported his illegal racial profiling policies knew full well that Congress mandates that when a police agency violates people’s Constitutional rights it will be responsible for the cost of bringing a lawsuit to enforce basic civil liberties. These fee awards are meant to ensure that agencies do not violate civil rights with impunity. Today’s order should come as no surprise since Sheriff Arpaio and MCSO had every opportunity to settle this case at an early stage in order to avoid the high costs, but instead chose to stubbornly stick to their illegal policies to the detriment of the people of Maricopa County."