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Arpaio’s lawyers set to respond to lawsuit

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attorneys will respond in
court Friday to a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit that alleges that Arpaio’s
office carried out a pattern of discrimination against Latinos in its
immigration patrols.

The filing by Arpaio’s lawyers will come nearly a month after the Justice
Department filed a lawsuit accusing the sheriff’s office of racially profiling
Latinos and punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish.

Arpaio also is accused of launching some immigration patrols based on citizen
letters that complained about people with dark skin congregating in a given area
or speaking Spanish but never reported an actual crime.

The sheriff has denied allegations of the systematic discriminatory policing
and called the lawsuit a politically motivated attack by the Obama
administration intended to gain favor with Latino voters.