April 15, 2015

PHOENIX — A federal appeals court today affirmed an Arizona federal judge’s finding that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling against Latino motorists. The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also agreed that virtually all the remedies ordered by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow were appropriate and necessary to repair the constitutional violations perpetrated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies.

Those remedies include the appointment of a monitor to keep tabs on the department's behavior, audio and video recordings of all traffic stops, increased training for and monitoring of sheriff's office employees, and the implementation of comprehensive record keeping to detect race discrimination in traffic stops. Officers will also be required to radio in the basis for each traffic stop before making contact with the people in the vehicle.

The American Civil Liberties Union represents the plaintiff class, Latino drivers in Maricopa County, in this lawsuit, Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio.

Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said:

"Sheriff Joe Arpaio has continually tried to dodge responsibility for his unconstitutional actions, and once again the courts have rebuffed his attempts. It's time for Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to face the facts and accept responsibility for violating the Constitution and the public trust. They should focus now on fixing the serious problems that fostered this illegal and discriminatory conduct."

Arpaio also faces a charge of contempt of other orders by the district court during an April 21 hearing.

The order is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ortega-melendres-et-al-v-arpaio-et-al-opinion

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/ortega-melendres-et-al-v-arpaio-et-al

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