Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Resolves Most of Civil Rights Lawsuit

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Joe Arpaio
Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the U.S. Justice Department have settled most of the claims in a lawsuit that accused him and his officers of systematically discriminating against Latinos.

Lawyers for the U.S. and the sheriff said in a court filing Friday that they’re in talks to see if any issues remain that need to go to a trial, scheduled for next month. Arpaio, who has called himself America’s toughest sheriff, two years ago lost a separate trial on similar claims by Latinos who said their rights were violated by traffic stops that were used to look for undocumented immigrants.

The sheriff’s office is overseen by a federal monitor as a result of that case.

U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver in Phoenix last month ruled that the Justice Department wouldn’t have to litigate the discriminatory policing claims that were decided by the previous trial. The claims that are settled pertain to retaliation against critics of the sheriff and worksite raids used to look for undocumented workers, according to a joint request to approve the agreement.

An issue relating to discrimination at the county jail, where the U.S. alleged no provisions were made for inmates with little or no English, was resolved in a separate settlement, according to the request.

The case is U.S. v. Maricopa County, 12-cv-00981, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Phoenix).

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