Media Contact

Steve Kilar, ACLU of Arizona, 602-773-6007,
Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU National, 212-284-7347,

July 31, 2018

PHOENIX — A federal appeals court today upheld the latest in several major rulings against Arizona’s Maricopa County in a long-running, class-action case that has held the Sheriff’s Office to account for systemic civil rights violations.

The Ninth Circuit decision stems from an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio, in which a federal court ruled that former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office profiled and illegally detained Latinos, violating their constitutional rights, and ordered a significant overhaul of the agency’s policing practices.

The court rejected the county’s effort to overturn an injunction that reforms the agency’s internal affairs department and addresses other serious problems uncovered during the civil contempt trial against Arpaio and top commanders. 

Cecillia Wang, ACLU deputy legal director, said:

“Systemic civil rights violations of this magnitude require systemic reforms. Maricopa County must continue to implement these court orders for the protection of all its residents.”

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