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He Ignored A Federal Judge’s Order To Stop Racially Profiling Latinos So Now He Is Guilty And Facing 6 Months In Jail

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Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been convicted of ignoring a federal judge’s orders to halt racial profiling that targets Latinos for proof of citizenship or residency, according to AZ Central. The power to stop people and ask them for their papers came in 2010 when Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070, also known as the Show Me Your Papers Law. The current trial, which will now be moving to a sentencing hearing in October, stems from Arpaio’s willful defiance of Federal Judge Murray Snow’s order to stop profiling Latinos based on immigration.

“In short, the Court finds that the Defendants have engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, dishonesty, and bad faith with respect to the Plaintiff class and the protection of its rights,” Judge Snow wrote in a decision on May 13, 2016. “They have demonstrated a persistent disregard for the orders of this Court,as well as an intention to violate and manipulate the laws and policies regulating their conduct as they pertain to their obligations to be fair, “equitable[,] and impartial” with respect to the interests of the Plaintiff class.”

Arpaio, who was found guilty of civil contempt for the same issue, has now been convicted of criminal contempt after a lengthy court battle with different civil rights groups and Maricopa County.

CREDIT: documentcloud.org

“The evidence at trial proves beyond a reasonable doubt and the Court finds that Judge Snow issued a clear and definite order enjoining Defendant from detaining persons for further investigation without reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed,” reads the ruling signed by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.

AZ Central reports that the decision is a total rejection of Arpaio’s defense: that the order was confusing and unclear and that there was no willful defiance.

“Today, Judge Susan Bolton violated the United States Constitution by issuing her verdict without even reading it to the Defendant in public court,” Jack Wilenchik, Arpaio’s attorney, said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “Her verdict is contrary to what every single witness testified in the case. Arpaio believes that a jury would have found in his favor, and that it will. Joe Arpaio is in this for the long haul, and he will continue his fight to vindicate himself, to prove his innocence, and to protect the public.”

AZ Central reports that Arpaio’s deputies detained up to 171 people after Federal Judge Snow’s injunction filed in December 2011. These detentions were in direct violation with the order of a federal judge to stop the practice of racially profiling Latinos.

“This verdict is a vindication for the many victims of Joe Arpaio’s immigration policies, which were unconstitutional to begin with, and were doubly illegal when Arpaio flouted the court’s orders,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said in a statement. “Joe Arpaio learned his lesson the hard way — no one, not even America’s so-called toughest sheriff, is above the law.”

(H/T: AZ Central)


READ: Arizona’s Notorious Anti-Immigrant Sheriff Is Facing Criminal Contempt Charges

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Residents Of This Texas City Want To Show Support For Immigrants So They Started A Group To Pressure City Officials

things that matter

Residents Of This Texas City Want To Show Support For Immigrants So They Started A Group To Pressure City Officials

A Call To Action Film Fort Worth / YouTube

“The color of my skin is not probable cause.”

Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin have joined a lawsuit against Senate Bill 4, a very tough anti-sanctuary city law that has been compared to Arizona’s SB 1070 or the “show me your papers” law. Those are four of the five largest cities in Texas. The fifth city in that category is Fort Worth, a typically conservative city that has so far stayed quiet in the debate of the law, according to United Fort Worth‘s film “A Call To Action Film.” One of the lead organizers of the group tells mitú that the fight against SB4 needs everyone on board, including Forth Worth and that exactly what United Fort Worth aims to do.

Anette Soto recalls that SB4 has plagued Texas since the beginning of this year. There were many demonstrations across the state calling for the bill to be rejected by the state legislators, yet the bill still passed.

“Many of us spoke out and made statements against SB4 but ultimately had to watch our state legislature passed it into law, strictly on party lines and with complete disregard of any concerns voiced by cities and law enforcement officials,” Soto says. “Ultimately, it passed and we braced ourselves for the worst. Several social justice organizations filed lawsuits immediately, but it wasn’t until a tiny border town named El Cenizo, Texas joined a lawsuit against the State of Texas that suddenly it seemed that people still had an opportunity to be heard. Shortly after, San Antonio joined the lawsuit, then Austin, then Dallas, then Houston. Hope was suddenly alive again, except in Fort Worth, Texas where we live.”

Soto tells mitú that she felt like residents of Fort Worth didn’t want to “rock the boat” by talking about the bill because of it’s conservative environment.

“Fort Worth, a conservative city with a truly very philanthropic and family-oriented community, suddenly fell silent,” Soto tells mitú. “It took a group of very passionate local college students to force the conversation and they were the ones that started United Fort Worth, and ultimately started organizing actions to push our city council to publicly vote on whether or not to join the existing SB4 litigation.”

Soto tells mitú that A Call To Action was created to show and explain the sentiment in the Latino and immigrant communities that some people don’t understand, or try to pretend they don’t understand. In Fort Worth, according to Soto, they have to create a different kind of argument that they are using in the other major cities with more progressive ideals. Rather than taking an aggressive stance like that of Houston and Austin, Soto and United Forth Worth organizers understand that they are trying to talk to people that voted predominately for Gov. Greg Abbott, who enthusiastically supports the bill.

“Hopefully putting our faces, experiences, and fears into this film will yield enough understanding and support for our city to stand up for us as well,” Soto says. “You’ll note there are a lot of non-Latino faces in the film. This is not just a Latino concern in our community, this is a human concern.”


READ: In Sparkly Ruffled Dresses, Quinceañeras Are About To Flood The Capitol To Protest A Texas Bill That Affects Thousands Of Latinos

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