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Updated Mar 17, 2014 - 7:59 pm

Hearing set in Arpaio racial profiling case

PHOENIX — A federal judge on Monday set a hearing for next week in the
racial profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, two months
after a monitor was appointed to watch the agency’s actions.

Lawyers for Sheriff Joe Arpaio faced a Monday deadline for filing an appellate
brief over a ruling that concluded the sheriff’s office has systematically
racially profiled Latinos in its patrols.

Copies of the sheriff’s brief weren’t immediately available Monday evening.

Arpaio has appealed a May ruling by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow that found
the sheriff’s office has racially profiled and unreasonably prolonged the
detentions of people during traffic stops.

Arpaio has vigorously denied the allegations.

The sheriff is now appealing Snow’s order issued last fall that appointed an
official to ensure the office is following the judge’s remedies, including
installing video cameras in hundreds of the agency’s patrol vehicles and
conducting additional training to ensure officers aren’t making unconstitutional
arrests.

Arpaio has argued that it would nullify the authority given to him by voters if
every one of his policy decisions would have to be cleared through a monitor,
who was appointed on Jan. 17.

Snow scheduled a status conference for Monday morning in Phoenix to discuss the
monitor’s recommendation to the court “that it take early corrective action to
avoid the perpetuation of patterns of conduct that may not be in good faith
compliance with the court’s injunction” that was issued Oct. 2.

The judge said plaintiffs in the case still are upset that the sheriff’s office
chose to conduct a traffic stop operation two weeks after the order.

“It is imperative that the personnel of the MCSO obtain an accurate
understanding as to why their past policies, practices, and procedures are
unconstitutional,” Snow wrote in his 17-page order Monday. “As the court
observed in its findings, at least some of the MCSO’s unconstitutional conduct
either occurred as a result of, or was exacerbated by, faulty training or
communication failures within the MCSO. To be corrected, the unlawful policies,
patterns and practices of the MCSO must be clearly, accurately and completely
communicated to, and understood by, MCSO personnel.”

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