I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Friday, December 23, 2011

Profiling Sheriff Joe: Class-Action status for latinos in suit

4th Avenue Jail
Phoenix, AZ
October 15, 2011

-------from the Phoenix New Times--------

Judge Grants Class Status in Lawsuit to Hispanics Stopped by Arpaio's Deputies, Orders Halt to Human Smuggling Enforcement in Current Form

U.S. District G. Murray Snow ruled today that any Hispanic stopped by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies since January 1, 2007 -- or will be stopped in the future -- can sue the sheriff's office in a class-action lawsuit.

The ruling in the Melendres racial-profiling case also enjoins the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office from stopping people based on a suspicion that they might be violating one aspect of the state's human smuggling law, or any other law.

At yesterday's hearing, Arpaio's lawyer said such a prohibition would hamper the ability for MCSO to conduct law enforcement in general. While that may have been an exaggeration, it seems clear the ruling will make it difficult for the sheriff to conduct enforcement operations based on the state's human-smuggling law. That law is how Arpaio justifies the saturation patrols in which illegal immigrants are rounded up.

Snow's latest ruling also hands Arpaio's office some minor victories, including the dismissal of two counts regarding David and Jessika Rodriguez, who say they were hassled while driving near Bartlett Lake. The ruling doesn't dismiss the case in favor of the plaintiffs, so in that respect it shows that Snow isn't fully convinced -- something Arpaio's lawyer brought up yesterday. Snow wants a trial to decide the issue, obviously -- but it'll be one in which he's the prime fact-finder, and one in which he's already signaled in another ruling made public today that he's not happy with the MCSO's dirty tactics, both in the case and on the streets as probable profilers.

If you've been waiting for serious action to come down against Arpaio, this is it.
Here's the ruling:

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