U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued the ruling Friday: Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has engaged in racial profiling and must not use Hispanic ancestry as a factor when making law-enforcement decisions.
The trial examined Arpaio's longstanding emphasis on immigration enforcement which led deputies to target Latino drivers based on their race, and that by doing so, they violated the constitutional rights of Latinos in Maricopa County residents.
Dan Pochoda of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling “a real vindication for the community. It was a terrific win — it was a very solid, comprehensive piece of work, and clearly demonstrated the unconstitutionality from top to bottom at MCSO for many years."
The Hispanic citizens that brought the racial-profiling lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office never sought monetary damages. Instead, the group asked for the court to issue injunctions barring Arpaio’s office from discriminatory policing. Judge Snow obliged — and indicated more remedies could be ordered in the future. Snow ruled: “Therefore, in the absence of further facts that would give rise to reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a violation of either federal criminal law or applicable state law is occurring, the MCSO is enjoined from (1) enforcing its LEAR policy (on checking the immigration status of people detained without state charges), (2) using Hispanic ancestry or race as any factor in making law enforcement decisions pertaining to whether a person is authorized to be in the country, and (3) unconstitutionally lengthening stops,” Snow wrote in his 142-page ruling.
“The evidence introduced at trial establishes that, in the past, the MCSO has aggressively protected its right to engage in immigration and immigration–related enforcement operations even when it had no accurate legal basis for doing so,” Snow said.