MCSO Is Running Community Meetings In Racial Profiling Case, Federal Judge Says It Falls Short

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, April 19, 2019 - 4:37pm
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

After systematically violating the rights of Latinos, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was required to make significant reforms. Now, federal judge is suggesting changes to community meetings tied to the case.

The long-running racial profiling case led to many court-ordered changes to the department, which the Sheriff’s Office is still working to implement.

After voters ousted former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his replacement, Paul Penzone, requested that the Sheriff’s Office run the quarterly community meetings meant to explain the progress of those changes instead of the court-appointed compliance monitor.

Judge Murray Snow said Friday that while progress has been made, the meetings run by the Sheriff’s Office have fallen short. He says they have failed, in a reasonable way, to address the Latino communities affected. So, Judge Snow said the meetings should be, again, run by the monitor to be more effective.

For example, Judge Snow said the last community meetings have been in places MCSO patrols now, like Sun City, Queen Creek and Goodyear, and that it has been a year since the meetings were in metropolitan Phoenix. Judge Snow said those meetings are not dedicated to the communities most harmed by Penzone's predecessor.

Snow also suggested the relationship between the community advisory board set up specifically to work with the affected communities and MCSO has deteriorated to where communications can be difficult.

The parties in the lawsuit have two weeks to respond.

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