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Class Action Latino Discrimination Lawsuit Against Sheriff Arpaio Opens in Arizona

HeadlineJul 20, 2012

A class action lawsuit alleging widespread discrimination against Latinos by the notorious Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio opened Thursday in Arizona. Plaintiffs represented by civil rights groups are accusing Arpaio of violating the rights of Latinos by systematically targeting them for traffic stops and detention. Among evidence cited in court papers are Arpaio’s own statements about his “pure program” intended to “go after illegals, not the crime first.” One plaintiff is a Mexican tourist who was a passenger in a car pulled over by deputies, ostensibly for speeding. Though the white driver was neither arrested nor cited, the Mexican passenger was arrested despite having a valid visa and identification. Another lawsuit against Arpaio brought by the Department of Justice alleges his office also punished prisoners for speaking Spanish and neglected to investigate a massive number of sex crimes.

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