Lawyers Discuss New Deadlines In Racial Profiling Case

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 5:33pm
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Even with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a lame duck, his office is still on the hook to reach compliance with a judge’s orders in a long-standing racial-profiling case.

Arpaio’s lawyers and the lawyers representing Latino plaintiffs met in court Wednesday to discuss setting new deadlines after the Sheriff’s Office missed key deadlines.

For example, the Sheriff’s Office was supposed to set up an early identification system to flag deputies who might be racially profiling. But Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union said the October 2014 deadline came and went.

“MCSO has made so little progress on this that we, you know, came to the court and said you need to reset this deadline, and, beyond that, we need to have a detailed plan a project management plan because MCSO so has been dragging its heels in putting this into place,” Wang said.

Also at issue is how to get the Sheriff’s Office to respond to an Arizona State University study that found a culture of bias in the agency, plus problematic traffic-stop patterns suggesting some deputies might be profiling Latinos and people of color.

It will soon be up to Sheriff-elect Paul Penzone to reach compliance in this case. Arpaio’s lawyer John Masterson said in court that he has already had one meeting with Penzone and another is scheduled for Monday.