PHOENIX — An appeals court on Wednesday upheld key findings in a 2013 ruling that deputies under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio systemically committed racial profiling of Latinos.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the previous ruling by District Judge Murray Snow that unconstitutional practices targeting immigrants had extended traffic stops in the Phoenix area.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the previous ruling by District Judge Murray Snow that unconstitutional practices by Arpaio's office targeted immigrants with lengthy traffic stops in the Phoenix area.
The court also affirmed remedies the judge imposed to address the profiling violations.
The ruling came after Arpaio appealed the ruling by Snow.
The appeals court also reined in a court-appointed official who is investigating misconduct at the agency. It said Snow's requirement that the monitor consider internal investigations and reports of officer misconduct created a problem by being unrelated to the constitutional violations found by Snow.
It wasn't immediately known whether the ruling by the three-judge appeals panel would affect a contempt-of-court hearing scheduled by Snow for April 21-24 on Arpaio's acknowledged violations of court orders in the case.
Arpaio's appeal didn't contest Snow's ruling on the immigration patrols known as "sweeps" in which deputies flooded an area over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Instead, the sheriff appealed the judge's conclusions on only regular traffic patrols.
Arpaio's lawyers also contended that Snow imposed changes on the sheriff's office that have nothing to do with the profiling case.
The decision by Snow marked the first time that the sheriff's office known for immigration enforcement had been found to have racially profiled people. The judge is requiring Arpaio's officers to video-record traffic stops, collect data on stops and undergo training to ensure they aren't acting unconstitutionally.
The lawyers who prevailed in the case argued that the judge stayed within his powers in ordering the sheriff's office to make changes. They said Arpaio's office was trying to manufacture a distinction between regular and special immigration patrols.