Photo: Joe Arpaio via Facebook
The Arizona sheriff who dubbed himself “The Toughest Sheriff In America” faces a tough week in court over claims he and his deputies routinely harassed Hispanics.On Thursday, a trial began against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a class-action civil rights suit accusing him of profiling Hispanic citizens and legal U.S. citizens, NPR reported.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers will probe Arpaio about how he responded to letters complaining about Hispanics, said Cecilia Wang, who’s with the ACLU and represents the plaintiffs.
“These letters would say things like there are Mexicans hanging out on such and such a corner I think you need to do something about it,” she told NPR.
But instead of filing those letters or throwing them away, Arpaio would actually send thank-you notes to the writers and “do an immigration sweep” of the areas the letters complained about, Wang said.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs will also show the court that Arpaio’s deputies stopped Hispanics more frequently than other drivers, and for longer periods of time, Wang told NPR.
The tough sheriff – who reportedly arrested a 6-year-old girl in an immigration raid – also faces a suit from the Justice Department, NPR reported.
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