JUDGE MULLS ON HOW TO PUNISH SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO IN RACIAL PROFILING CASE
PHOENIX -- A federal judge delayed a decision to refer Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for criminal contempt charges, but hinted that hundreds of Latinos who were detained by his deputies solely on suspicion that they were in the country illegally could soon be compensated.
U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow on Tuesday heard arguments over what penalties Arpaio and his office should face for continuing to racially profile Latinos during traffic stops and immigration patrols after court orders barred him from doing so.
Snow had ruled on May 13 that the sheriff and three of his top aides were in civil contempt for violating court orders.
The judge said racial profiling victims could receive up to $1,000 in restitution for the first hour they were detained, and an additional $200 for every 20 minutes they were detained.
Judge Snow also said he was considering appointing someone to oversee full oversight of internal affairs at the sheriff's office. "I don't have confidence anymore about the direction of the Maricopa County sheriff's office," Snow said. During Tuesday's civil contempt hearing, Snow also considered a number of penalties for Arpaio and his deputies. He said Arpaio was "the most culpable" for violating the court orders to stop racial profiling. But he said his abilities to impose penalties on Arpaio were limited because this was a civil contempt proceeding and because the sheriff is an elected official.
Outside the courthouse, a giant, inflatable "Arpaio"...