Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Contempt Hearings



 Lower photo courtesy of Phoenix New Times

Jude Joffe-Block on KJZZ provides the latest on a contempt hearing for violation of orders and other alleged misconduct in connect with Melendres v. Arpaio, a racial profiling case, in a federal courtroom in Arizona.  The contempt hearings are against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. There have been 14 days of testimony. Arpaio himself testified

A a handful of courtroom regulars make a point to come and listen to the testimony. One is Salvador Reza, an activist who for years has advocated for day laborers, and against Arpaio and his immigration enforcement tactics. “To me, it is funny to see how karma comes around,” Reza said. “And everything [Arpaio] has done to so many people, and now he is on the opposite side.”

U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow directly questioned both Arpaio and his chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan.

There have been two rounds of contempt hearings, the first was in April, and the current one began in late September. The plaintiffs have called several Maricopa County Sheriff's Office personnel to testify. Sometimes witnesses have remained on the stand for days.

After hearing concludes, Snow will decide what kind of remedies he will order. Arpaio and Sheridan have already admitted they are in contempt of court for violating Snow’s orders in the racial profiling case. Snow could order them to pay fines or require more reforms at the sheriff’s office, including greater powers for the independent monitor appointed by the court. He will also determine whether three other sheriff’s commanders are in contempt.


Sheriff Arpaio has long been controversial.  He unquestionably has some interesting law enforcement practices, such as the Mugshot of the Day (which allows website visitors to vote on their favorite mugshot).



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