A federal judge ordered an independent monitor and community advisory board to watch over an Arizona sheriff after his office was found to have engaged in racial profiling.
The profiling was discovered when a group of Latinos sued the sheriff’s office for violating their constitutional rights and being detained because of their race.
The Maricopa County sheriff’s office and Sheriff Joe Arpaio singled out Latinos and unreasonably prolonged detentions, according to the lawsuit.
The monitor will oversee the re-training of deputies and ensure that the office is complying within constitutional standards. The community advisory board will aid in strengthening the public’s trust.
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While Arpaio had concerns over the weight of his authority, lawyer Tim Casey said the monitor will not strip Arpaio of his decision-making powers. According to Casey, the order is moderate and sensible.
“The monitor cannot tell us what to do or not to do,” Casey said. “The court will make the ultimate decision on whether or not the MCSO is in compliance with its order, and we’re very pleased with that.”
While Arpaio’s authority has not been removed, a lengthy list of restrictions limit the capabilities of his deputies.
Prohibitions include not using race as a factor in deciding whether to stop a vehicle with a Latino occupant or detaining Latino passengers on the suspicion alone that they are illegal immigrants.