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Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Called to Court Over Training Video

A federal judge believes the Maricopa County sheriff has trivialized a judge's finding in a racial-profiling decision.
Image: Joe Arpaio
File photo of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as he answers a question at a news conference at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Headquarters Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin / AP

On Monday, Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan will be required to answer U.S. District Judge Murray Snow, who believes both men may have trivialized and mischaracterized the judge's findings in a racial-profiling decision issued last year. The judge concluded Arpaio's office systematically racially profiled Latinos in its immigration and regular traffic patrols and unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people during traffic stops.

The judge had required Arpaio's office to install video cameras in hundreds of the agency's patrol vehicles, as well as set up a seven-person team of employees to help implement the judicial orders and carry out additional training to ensure officers were not making unconstitutional arrests.

But in an October training video, Chief Deputy Sheridan appears to suggest that rank-and-file deputies weren't obliged to make their best efforts to remedy the agency's constitutional violations.

A video of the October training session shows Sheridan providing a misleading summary of the case to deputies and complaining that the judge was putting the sheriff's office under the same restraints as a judge did to the long-troubled New Orleans Police Department, Snow wrote. "And their police officers were murdering people," Sheridan said. "That tells you how ludicrous this crap is."

Arpaio has vigorously denied the racial-profiling allegations and has appealed the ruling.At a news conference last week, Arpaio repeatedly declined to comment on the judge's rebuke.

--Reporting by the Associated Press