Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Jacques Billeaud of the Associated Press offers the basics on Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt hearing in federal court in Arizona, which begins today. The hearing is scheduled for four days and could result in fines and other penalties for admitted violations of the court's orders in a racial profiling case.
Sheriff Arpaio has acknowledged disobeying the judge's pretrial order that barred his immigration enforcement patrols. He also has accepted responsibility for his agency's failure to turn over traffic-stop videos and bungling a plan to gather such recordings from officers once some videos were discovered.
Sheriff Arpaio is among the nearly two dozen people on the witness list.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow will decide whether Arpaio and four aides should be held in contempt. The sheriff and his second-in-command, Jerry Sheridan, have acknowledged violating the order and being responsible for the agency's failure to turn over traffic-stop videos and bungling the subsequent plan to gather recordings from officers. Arpaio proposed offering a public apology and making a donation to a civil rights organization from his own pockets.
Judge Snow has said the $100,000 donation proposed by Arpaio and Sheridan was an adequate personal financial penalty but rejected their requests to call off the hearing because their proposal didn't comprehensively resolve the contempt case.
For more on this story from Arizona, click here.
The abuses of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office of Latino citizens and lawful immigrants in the name of immigration enforcement reveal some of the risks involved in enlisting state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws.