Post-Trial Briefs & Follow-Up Materials

The Arpaio racial profiling trial ended on Thursday, August 9, 2012.  Now, the judge in the case will decide whether the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s practices violate the 4th and/or 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU believes that the evidence is clear that MCSO personnel, under Sheriff Arpaio’s leadership and direction, acted improperly and intentionally discriminated against Latinos in violation of their constitutional rights.

Read the post-trial brief filed on August 9th setting forth our position in greater detail.

Read our response to defendants’ post-trial brief filed on August 16th.

Read the trial transcripts.

The ACLU, the ACLU of Arizona and Covington and Burling, LLP are representing plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Maricopa County for racial discrimination against Latinos. Read about our plaintiffs.

The lawsuit charges that Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (“MCSO”) have unlawfully instituted a pattern and practice of targeting Latino drivers and passengers in Maricopa County during traffic stops. MCSO’s practices discriminate on the basis of race, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and have resulted in prolonged traffic stops and baseless extended detentions, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In its zeal to rid the community of persons that it believes are undocumented immigrants, MCSO has violated the civil rights of countless U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants. Expert data supports the plaintiffs’ claims of racial profiling and unlawful detention.

Evidence of Racial Discrimination

Plaintiffs will be submitting hundreds of pages of evidence that show that the Sheriff acted on racially charged citizen complaints and requests for operations that he forwarded to his senior staff. These complaints criticized people based on little more than the color of their skin or the fact that they were speaking Spanish. In addition, Sheriff’s deputies regularly circulated racially charged emails about Latinos. These and other actions created an agency culture that encouraged discrimination and permitted racial bias to flourish.

Department of Justice Lawsuit

In May 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against MCSO claiming discriminatory law enforcement actions against Latinos who are frequently stopped, detained and arrested on the basis of race, color, or national origin; discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills; and illegal retaliation against their perceived critics.

Past ACLU Media Releases: