In 2007, a civil class action lawsuit was filed by a group of Latinos against then-sheriff #Joe Arpaio's policies claiming racial discrimination. Following this was a federal lawsuit which resulted from a federal investigation that was being conducted by the Justice Department. Even though the Trump Presidency has essentially enabled people like Arpaio who have only been empowered by right-wing nationalism, the anti-immigrant views of many people in power was thriving with the Sheriff. The lawsuit would essentially be one of the first ones that would eventually draw national attention to the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Orders placed on Arpaio's anti-immigrant operation

Much like Donald Trump's claims that the federal investigation on him for alleged collusion with Russian officials and obstruction of justice is a "witch hunt", Joe Arpaio has made the same accusation of the investigation being conducted on him.

Advertisements
Advertisements

In 2011, other Latinos claimed that Arpaio discriminated against them after he had them detained for their immigration status. At the time U.S. #district court judge G. Murray Snow issued a temporary injunction that would prevent the Sheriff from detaining people.

It was also reported that Arpaio was using an immigration squad which checked the immigration status of drivers and passengers they suspected were illegal. He said that it was a pure program to go after illegals and lock them up for their status but not their crimes. It wasn't until two years later that Judge Snow issued his order to become permanent. But Sheriff Arpaio felt that he had the power to defy the order and continue to operate as he wanted and he made no secret of it.

Joe Arpaio blatantly defied order

During testimony in 2011 from Arpaio's then-attorney Tim Casey, he called the then-sheriff twice to tell him about the judge's order which was a continuation of the original 2007 suit.

Advertisements

At the time, the Sheriff responded telling his lawyer that he would keep doing what he was doing and that he also had a backup plan. That plan was initially triggered by changes to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which changed its policy to only accept felons that had violated civil immigration law.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton handed down their ruling in court papers she had signed where she found the former sheriff guilty of criminal contempt which could mean #Jail Time. Despite the many controversies generated by the defiant former sheriff for over two decades, it would be the violation of the 2011 court order that ended up triggering the judge's ruling.

Process towards sentencing

The judge said that there was evidence of his "flagrant disregard" for the order and public displays to where he admitted to this. In fact, during his time as sheriff, there were many reports of Joe Arpaio publicly saying that he would defy the order. But much in the style of right-wing incumbents who are caught red-handed, the former sheriff defended himself in court saying that the order wasn't clear and that he didn't mean to violate it, feigning ignorance.

Advertisements

On Thursday it was reported that Joe Arpaio did not show up for the pre-sentencing process via conference call with Judge Bolton. Despite this, his lawyer debated with a government lawyer of the sentencing process to send detailed documents to start the process. Sheriff Arpaio is set to be sentenced on October 5.