Sheriff Joe Arpaio May Face Contempt-Of-Court Proceedings
[su_right_ad]A judge is deciding if a prosecutor should investigate Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for repeatedly disregarding orders in a case of racial profiling.
Arpaio could face punishment ranging from daily fines to jail time if he is found to be in contempt. Still, a racial profiling expert said he wouldn’t expect the judge to jail Arpaio and instead would probably gradually ramp up the severity of his punishments if the sheriff continued to defy the judge.
“I don’t think that’s very likely, simply because he is an elected official,” David A. Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor who studies racial profiling, said of the possibility of jail time.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow has grown frustrated over what he said were inadequate internal investigations into wrongdoing by Arpaio’s immigrant smuggling squad, including whether a deputy was shaking down immigrants who were in the country illegally. In addition, the judge is upset over a botched effort by the sheriff’s office to recover videos of traffic stops that were withheld in the profiling case.
Eighteen months ago, the judge found the sheriff’s office had systematically singled out Latinos in regular traffic and special immigration patrols. Snow is requiring Arpaio’s officers to video-record traffic stops, collect data on stops and undergo training to ensure they are making constitutional stops.[su_csky_ad]