PHOENIX — Some Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies are more likely to stop and search Hispanic drivers than others, an Arizona State University report said.
“What we are finding is that there are some deputies that are stopping or arresting or searching Hispanics at twice the rate of other deputies that they work with,” associate professor Danielle Wallace, the report’s lead author, said.
The report also showed that an individual may not be solely be arrested because of the nature of their crime.
“While I can’t necessarily say, due to the nature of the data, which race is more likely to be arrested at this time, but we do know that whether or not you are arrested is dependent on your race within MCSO,” she said.
The results of the report were “not an ideal situation for policing,” according to Wallace.
The study was conducted by Wallace and other researchers on behalf of MCSO. It looked at the agency’s crime statistics for 2014-2015.
“Basically, we examine various ways of looking at whether racial bias in policing was occurring within MCSO among its deputies, its beats and its districts,” she said.
Wallace said she is planning to conduct more analysis soon to see if the problem is systemic in the sheriff’s office or isolated to certain deputies.
“We haven’t done those analyses yet.”
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and three other deputies were held in civil contempt in a racial profiling case earlier this year that centered on allegations the department had unfairly profiled Latinos.
A judge ordered a series of changes at the agency, such as training on making constitutional traffic stops and requiring officers to wear body cameras.
However, a court monitor said Arpaio’s agency has been slow to make the changes and defied a previous order to halt his infamous immigration patrols.
KTAR’s Tyler Klaus and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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