Judge Orders Prosecutors To File CRIMINAL CHARGES For Sheriff Joe Arpio
A federal judge in phoenix, AZ, ordered on Friday that prosecutors bring criminal charges against controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, finding that the Arizona lawman acted outside the law in a 2007 racial profiling case, reported The Huffington Post.
In a written order, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow asked federal prosecutors to file criminal contempt charges for three alleged violations by Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s toughest sheriff” and has built a national reputation for strong rhetoric and aggressive actions to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
In his 32-page order, Snow ruled that sheriff’s deputies racially profiled Latino drivers during traffic stops and wrongfully detained them. The judge writes that Arpaio willfully violated a 2011 court injunction barring the sheriff’s office from stopping and detaining motorists solely based on suspicion they were in the country illegally. That practice continued for 18 months after the judge ordered it halted,
Snow also ordered criminal contempt charges against Arpaio’s second-in-command, Gerard Sheridan, along with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Captain Steve Bailey and an Arpaio attorney, Michele Iafrate.
Criminal charges are also recommended in a lawsuit challenging conduct by the sheriff’s department as unconstitutional.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix said the judge’s order was under review. If prosecutors decline to file charges, another judge could appoint a special prosecutor to take up the case.
“When a federal court finds that a law enforcement official has lied under oath and willfully flouted court orders, that official must be held to account,” Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, told the Huffington Post.
H/T: The Huffington Post.