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Arpaio could take stand in racial-profiling trial

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio could take the stand today in his racial-profiling trial in federal court.

The civil rights trial against Arpaio accuses him and his department of racially profiling Latinos in Maricopa County.

The class-action suit started with a complaint by a retired Mexican schoolteacher, who was stopped in Arizona in 2007 during one of Arpaio's crime-suppression sweeps.

Arpaio's accusers are not asking for damages, but simply an apology from the department and a change in policy.

Valley attorney Michael Kimerer said the outcome of this trial will serve as a precursor to a U.S. Justice Department case that alleges rampant racial profiling by the sheriff's office.

"If he loses, it is something to be very concerned about because it just adds legally and psychologically and in every way to all of the other cases out there to go against him," Kimerer said.

There is no timetable for when Arpaio may take the stand.

If found guilty, Arpaio will not face jail time or fines.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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