PHOENIX, Ariz. — For years to come, Sheriff Joe Arpaio can expect to have a federal judge looking over his shoulder, watching almost his every move and those of his deputies.
A federal judge Wednesday approved a plan to place an independent monitor inside the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff’s Office to ensure the department is not racial profiling.
Maricopa County deputies — once described by a Justice Department expert as conducting “the most egregious racial profiling in the United States” — will have every traffic stop monitored statistically and with video cameras, with strict orders to ignore suspects’ race.
U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s ruling caps a class-action anti-discrimination lawsuit against Arpaio and the sheriff’s office. In May, Snow ruled that Arpaio’s office was using unconstitutional racial profiling to target and detain Latinos suspected of having entered the U.S. illegally.
The latest ruling orders the sheriff’s office to promote an internal policy “that unauthorized presence in the United States is not a crime and does not itself constitute reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that a person has committed or is committing any crime.” Deputies making stops will have to make a radio call specifying what the stop is about.