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- 12-23-2011, 04:08 PM #1
Joe Arpaio Punished By Judge For Document Destruction
Joe Arpaio Punished By Judge For Document Destruction
The Associated Press
Posted: 12/23/11 04:49 PM ET
PHOENIX -- A judge overseeing a lawsuit that alleges racial profiling in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration patrols issued punishments against the agency on Friday for its acknowledged destruction of records in the case.
The punishments issued by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow came in the form of "adverse inferences" against Arpaio's office that the judge may consider when deciding the case's facts.
The judge, for instance, may assume that among the destroyed documents were citizen complaints - some of which were racially charged and didn't allege actual criminal activity - that requested immigration patrols in spots where the sheriff's office later conducted patrols.
Tim Casey, one of Arpaio's lawyers, said he expected the ruling.
"I thought that the judge, given the facts, was very fair in his evaluation," he said.
The judge had found grounds in February 2010 to sanction the sheriff's office for throwing away or shredding some records of traffic stops made during Arpaio's immigration patrols, but held off on actually imposing the punishment until Friday.
A handful of Latinos who filed the lawsuit have alleged that Arpaio's officers based some traffic stops on the race of Hispanics in vehicles, had no probable cause to pull them over and made the stops so they could inquire about their immigration status.
Arpaio has denied the racial profiling allegations, saying people pulled over in the patrols were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes and that it was only afterward that deputies found many of them were undocumented immigrants.
During the patrols known as "sweeps," deputies flood an area of a city - in some cases, heavily Latino areas - over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Undocumented immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted by his office since January 2008.
Under other sanctions issued Friday, Snow can infer that the records would have suggested officers didn't follow a zero-tolerance policy requiring them to stop all traffic offenders and that the documents would have included a higher number of immigration arrests than records documenting ordinary patrol activity.
Some sheriff's officials have acknowledged deleting their emails about the patrols and throwing away and shredding officers' records of traffic stops made during the sweeps.
The sheriff's office said the destruction was an honest error that sprung from a top official not telling others in his office to preserve the documents.
The office said the traffic-stop records were thrown away after supervisors tabulated statistics from them and that thousands of other documents have been handed over.
Those records completed during the sweeps contained the number of contacts with the public, criminal arrests and civil citations, and provided a short narrative section where officers can briefly summarize arrests or other incidents.
Some sweeps-related emails that were thought to have been deleted by the sheriff's office turned out to have been saved by the county when it was discovered that the county had backed up emails by the sheriff's office as part of a routine document-preservation step in an unrelated lawsuit.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...ington+Post%29If a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!
- 12-23-2011, 06:08 PM #2
Arizona sheriff faces new setback over immigration
Arizona sheriff faces new setback over immigration
By AP News
Friday, December 23, 2011
A federal judge dealt a new setback Friday to the immigration enforcement efforts of America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," barring his deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they're in the country illegally.
The ruling sets the stage for a possible trial in a lawsuit that alleges racial profiling in the patrols in Maricopa County, Ariz., and would further limit Sheriff Joe Arpaio's authority after Washington yanked his power to make federal immigration arrests earlier this month.
Lawyers pushing the lawsuit on behalf of a small number of Latino clients also won class-action status that lets other Hispanics join the case if they have been detained and questioned by Arpaio's deputies as either a driver or passenger in a vehicle in the January 2007.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow hasn't yet ruled on the ultimate question of racial profiling, but notes the case's evidence could lead a judge or jury to conclude that Arpaio's office racially profiles Latinos.
"Sheriff Arpaio has made public statements that a fact-finder could interpret as endorsing racial profiling," Snow said.
The judge noted that the sheriff has said that even without authority to enforce federal immigration laws, his officers can detain people based upon their speech or they appear to be from another country.
The lawsuit alleges that Maricopa County officers made some traffic stops solely because Hispanics were driving. The plaintiffs say authorities had no probable cause to pull them over and made the stops only to question their immigration status.
Arpaio has denied the racial profiling allegations, saying people pulled over in the patrols were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes and that it was only afterward that deputies found many were illegal immigrants.
During the patrols known as "sweeps," deputies flood an area of a city _ in some cases, heavily Latino areas _ over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Illegal immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the roughly 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted by his office since January 2008.
Separate from the lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a Dec. 15 report that accused Arpaio's office of having a pattern of racially profiling Latinos, basing immigration enforcement on racially-charged citizen complaints and punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish.
Arpaio faces a Jan. 4 deadline for saying whether he wants to work out an agreement to settle the civil rights allegations. The Justice Department has said it's prepared to sue Arpaio and let a judge decide the matter if no agreement can be worked out.
Arpaio is left with only state immigration laws to carry out his patrols _ and those powers were limited by the judge Friday.
Lawyers pressing the racial profiling lawsuit say considerations of race have infected the sheriff's immigration patrols and that Arpaio has, in effect, endorsed calls for racial profiling.
They say some of Arpaio's deputies circulated offensive jokes about Mexicans and that Arpaio launched immigration patrols based on racially charged letters and emails that complained of people speaking Spanish but alleged no actual crimes.
Arpaio's lawyers said the sheriff's office launches its sweeps on race-neutral grounds and that the sheriff never acted on those letters of complaint.
The sheriff's office asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that those who filed the case lack standing to show they face a threat of future injury from the sweeps and people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had violated a law.
Apart from the lawsuit and civil rights report against the sheriff's office, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009.
Grand jurors are examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.
http://www.ktkz.com/article.aspx?id=...95dcbe&catid=0If a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!
- 12-23-2011, 06:29 PM #3
Judge Sets Up Sheriff Arpaio for Knockout in Racial Profiling Case; Ruling Describes
Judge Sets Up Sheriff Arpaio for Knockout in Racial Profiling Case; Ruling Describes Deputies' Dirty Tricks
By Ray Stern
Fri., Dec. 23 2011 at 3:23 PM
U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow set up Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a knockout in his latest ruling on a racial-profiling lawsuit.
Snow's ruling (see below) in the Melendres Vs. Arpaio case eviscerates the sheriff's office for its record-shredding tactics, noting that deputies intentionally destroyed records that revealed their unethical enforcement operations. The ruling, made public today, comes a week after the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that a three-year investigation concluded Arpaio's shop routinely violated the rights of Valley Hispanics.
At a hearing in the lawsuit yesterday, Snow told Arpaio's attorney, Timothy Casey, that he believed a legal stance used by sheriff's office to justify its human-smuggling enforcement operations was "wrong." That could mean the end of another justification Arpaio's been using to bust illegal immigrants and generally hassle Hispanics.
The lawyers for Arpaio and for the plaintiffs, (the latter of whom are represented by Covington & Burling, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund), agreed with Snow yesterday that the judge would be the "finder of fact" in the potential trial.
Now this "finder of fact" is saying that, at trial, he'll assume that Arpaio's office intentionally tried to screw the case because they know they're guilty of racial profiling.
The plaintiffs include Ortega Melendres, a legal resident picked up by over-zealous deputies for no good reason and held for hours, U.S. citizens playing Spanish music chased and held at gunpoint by deputies, and a Hispanic man and his wife targeted at Bartlett Lake. Attorneys have asked Snow to certify the case as a class-action suit, which would open it up to countless victims of what a DOJ expert called the worst example of racial profiling in U.S. history.
Snow handed down sanctions against the sheriff's office last year for destroying records.
The thing we find hilarious about this part of the story: The dopey deputies thought they had shredded all the relevant documents, but their antagonists at county headquarters quietly preserved some of the data by funneling it to their own storage banks. Not everything was preserved, however.
Still missing are many "stat sheets" filled out by deputies that contain information about their work during saturation sweeps (a.k.a. immigrant round-ups).
Snow ruled that he'll infer the missing stat sheets show that deputies did not practice a "zero-tolerance" rule for stopping motorists during the sweeps. After all, he notes, some of the preserved stat sheets belie the idea that a zero-tolerance rule was in effect.
In other words, some deputies ignored the traffic violations of one white motorists after another yet pulled over Hispanics for the same violations. The arrest data on the destroyed stat sheets, Snow ruled, would show a difference in the type of people busted in the sweeps than in normal patrol operations.
Letters by local bigots apparently help spur Arpaio and those under his command to launch the sweeps -- that much has already been shown. Snow will assume at trial that some e-mails deleted by the MCSO and recovered by the county would prove more of these despicable and direct links between outright racism and subsequent enforcement operations.
Intriguingly, at least two recovered e-mails refer to a separate file maintained by the sheriff's office of citizen complaints and requests for special operations. Snow will infer that such a file existed, and that some of the citizen complaints referred not to criminal activity, but merely to "Mexicans" or "illegal immigrants."
UPDATE: Another ruling by Snow today states that all Latinos pulled over by the sheriff's office since January 1, 2007 till now, and into the future, can sue in a class-suit lawsuit. The ruling also enjoins the sheriff's office from conducting certain stops. Click here for the latest.
Last edited by Ratbstard; 12-23-2011 at 06:36 PM.If a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!
- 12-23-2011, 06:35 PM #4
Judge Grants Class Status in Lawsuit to Hispanics Stopped by Arpaio's Deputies
Judge Grants Class Status in Lawsuit to Hispanics Stopped by Arpaio's Deputies, Orders Halt to Human Smuggling Enforcement in Current Form
By Ray Stern
Fri., Dec. 23 2011 at 4:30 PM
U.S. District G. Murray Snow ruled today that any Hispanic stopped by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies since January 1, 2007 -- or will be stopped in the future -- can sue the sheriff's office in a class-action lawsuit.
The ruling in the Melendres racial-profiling case also enjoins the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office from stopping people based on a suspicion that they might be violating one aspect of the state's human smuggling law, or any other law.
At yesterday's hearing, Arpaio's lawyer said such a prohibition would hamper the ability for MCSO to conduct law enforcement in general. While that may have been an exaggeration, it seems clear the ruling will make it difficult for the sheriff to conduct enforcement operations based on the state's human-smuggling law. That law is how Arpaio justifies the saturation patrols in which illegal immigrants are rounded up.
Snow's latest ruling also hands Arpaio's office some minor
victories, including the dismissal of two counts regarding David and
Jessika Rodriguez, who say they were hassled while driving near Bartlett
Lake. The ruling doesn't dismiss the case in favor of the plaintiffs,
so in that respect it shows that Snow isn't fully convinced -- something
Arpaio's lawyer brought up yesterday. Snow wants a trial to decide the
issue, obviously -- but it'll be one in which he's the prime
fact-finder, and one in which he's already signaled in another ruling made public today that he's not happy with the MCSO's dirty tactics, both in the case and on the streets as probable profilers.
If you've been waiting for serious action to come down against Arpaio, this is it.
Here's the ruling: http://www.scribd.com/doc/76401394/Class-Action-Granted
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/val...tatus_in_l.phpIf a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!
- 12-24-2011, 11:39 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
If 57% of those arrested or stopped by Arpaio's men were illegals...that should give everyone a clear indication that there is a major problem inthe area and there needs to be MORE sweeps, MORE deportations and arrests. Its time States go after not only the one person arrested but also the remaining families and if undocumented or illegally here they be removed or pressured to leave this country. NO AMNESTY, NO DREAM ACTS, NO PATHWAYS, and a new "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" policy where if the parents are illegally here they be deported and MUST take their illegal kids witht hem.