Infamous Racist Sheriff Arpaio Found in Contempt

Arizona’s Joe Arpaio ignored court orders and encouraged his deputies to scrutinize Latino drivers more than whites, a federal judge found.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Arizona sheriff notorious for his disdain of immigrants was found in contempt by a federal court on Friday for repeatedly violating court orders to stop racially profiling Latinos.

A hero to the anti-immigration movement, six-term Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, together with three deputies, were found in civil contempt by United States District Court Judge G. Murray Snow for disobeying his orders requiring Arpaio and his deputies to stop detaining Latinos based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally.

“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,” Snow wrote in his ruling.

The case stems from the 2011 civil case brought by Latino drivers and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Arpaio and his deputies. In May 2013, Snow determined Arpaio had encouraged his deputies to scrutinize Latino drivers more than white drivers during traffic stops. Snow said Arpaio’s office profiled and illegally detained Latinos, violating their constitutional rights, and ordered a significant overhaul of the sheriff’s office practices. However, Arpaio and his top deputies repeatedly — and publicly — ignored the court’s orders.

At a Houston rally in 2015, Arpaio told supporters that he had violated the order “out of spite” and had arrested 500 people. He also admitted to letting his officers conduct immigration patrols for 18 months following the court’s order to cease the practice.

Arpaio, 83, who calls himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” was also accused of launching a secret investigation into Snow and his wife in an effort to get him removed from the case.

In his ruling Friday, Snow also found Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, retired Chief Brian Sands and Lt. Joe Souza in civil contempt.

Snow scheduled a hearing for May 31 to determine options to compel Arpaio and his deputies to obey his orders, including one option of appointing an outside agency to take over the sheriff’s office. The case can also be referred for federal criminal prosecution that could expose Arpaio and his deputies to fines and jail time.

“Any public official who has been found guilty of racial profiling and ignores the orders of the court cannot be entrusted with the safety and well-being of the community and should step down in shame,” the immigrant rights group Puente Arizona said in a statement Friday.

“The court has found that Sheriff Arpaio intentionally and repeatedly violated federal court orders,” said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, in a statement. “His recalcitrance ends here. Strong remedies are needed to protect the community’s rights, starting with internal investigations that root out and punish misconduct. Willing or not, the sheriff will be made to comply with the law.”

Recommended Articles

12 comments


  • Michael J. Lowrey

    The ability of my fellow non-Hispanics to get their bowels in an uproar over the presence of Hispanics in territories which were first Spanish, then Mexican, for centuries before Anglo settlement, never ceases to amaze me. “Florida”, “California”, “Tejas”, “Nuevo Mexico”, “Colorado”, “Montana”: these names were not brought over to the Plymouth Rock.

    • People literally feel threatened when they hear the Spanish language being spoken. I used to be a reference librarian at a public library in New Jersey, and I learned Spanish in order to communicate with the new Latino patrons who were coming in droves to the library. I developed reasonably good conversational skills in Spanish by practicing on these poor souls who sought my help! :-) They collectively tutored me while I tutored them in English, a most satisfying intercambio…here are a few things you’ll find interesting:

      1. The FIRST question we heard from Latino patrons was: “Do you speak Spanish?”
      The SECOND question was: “Do you have classes for learning English?”

      2. We had a literacy program housed in the library. At one point, we had a waiting list of
      over 700 people who had signed up to learn English. We did not have enough tutors for all these people! I developed a list of community agencies and organizations that offered English classes for new immigrants. This list was given to all new library patrons.

      3.American paranoia against languages knows no bounds. I experienced this paranoia when I worked at this same public library…I developed the 400’s section of the library (languages and linguistics), adding language instruction books for most of the most popular world languages, including Arabic, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
      As Spanish is spoken widely in New Jersey, I developed this section of the 400’s, so that anyone could check out instruction books at beginning through advanced levels.

      One day, a patron came in and asked me for books to learn Spanish. I asked her if
      she needed books for conversation, or for travel, etc. She replied that she needed to learn Spanish “so I know what they’re saying about us when I’m at the mall.” I told her that I
      also spoke Spanish, and that most Spanish-speaking families are usually discussing things like shopping for bargains, what to eat at the Food Court, etc. She replied that
      “you’re defending them, but I know they’re talking about us at the mall.” I handed her some books and wished her the best…she came back to the library a few months later,
      making the same request for the same reason! NO, you CANNOT make this stuff up! :-)

      • God bless you! You are living up to your name Charity. For AmeriKKKa to claim to be a “civilized” and “developed” country, the ignorance is palpable!! I tried to learn Spanish in college and failed miserably, but this experience gave me an appreciation of how difficult it is to learn a new language. Arpaio and guys gang of thugs finally got rounded up–his actions are contemptible! AmeriKKKans are racist to the core and Arpaio exported his racist animus from Massachusetts to Arizona. He’s one suntan away from being a Mexican. If he wasn’t in uniform walking in a predominately Latino area, he’d be picked up by his lily white, racist thugs in uniform, also known as KKKops. It’s also refreshing to know that the ACLU has picked a more appropriate target than their Christian-bashing. After Mexicans cross a grueling desert, swim through death-defying rivers, and then arrive penniless and find jobs, of they were white, they’d receive the Presidential Medal of Honor for bravery!! As is typical of AmeriKKKan hypocrisy, if this was the “land it the free and home of the brave” the Mexicans journey here fits the description. If Obama wasn’t such a hypocrite, he would sign legislation to “grandfather” them in to the lands they once owned: Arizona, Colorado, California, New Mexico, etc. But like the shameless, bald-faced thieves AmeriKKKans have always been, they steal land from indigenous “Americans” and Mexicans, and keep the original names!!! It’s analogous to me stealing the “Hope” diamond, but to brag about my thievery, I don’t change the name to the “Faith” diamond–I want the world to know that I had stolen it! All the Mexican names splattered across Arizona, and they don’t want the people who invented, created, and owned those names to live there!! In glad you’re an exceptional American.

        • Speak for yourself. You may be “racist to the core,” but you do not speak for all — or, even many — Americans.

  • So now what? He was found to have done this for many years. Why is he still the sheriff?

    • Because he’s white and have been allowed for centuries to get away with murder.

  • Arpaio is 83 years old and operating like he’s above the law. Time for him, and his co-horts, to ride off into the sunset.

  • NOTthatSurprised

    Luke: I have a story to share with you that may be of interest to you and Diversity Inc. Where can I send the story? Thanks

  • Since Arpaio is the typical AmeriKKKan racist Italian King of Mean, admittedly, this is a mean-spirited comment which he deserves. When his own mother SPAWNED him, it was more than she could bear and she died while giving birth to him!! A possible explanation as to why he is a psychopathic MF is because, like Hitler, he didn’t receive any “mother” love or nurturing. I’ll have to pray for forgiveness for this later.

« Previous Article     Next Article »