Arpaio, aide called to court over training video - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Judge in racial profiling case scolds sheriff aide

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A federal judge found that Maricopa County deputies racially profiled Hispanics during crime sweeps and ordered that they undergo training to prevent it from happening again.

Now we're seeing video of that training and it shows the department may not be embracing these changes. In fact, leaders are seen mocking them.

In that training session, top MCSO leaders talked about some of the new policies that they've been ordered to implement.  MCSO videotaped the entire session and after the judge saw it, he wasn't thrilled.

"I am sorry you have to do this. I wish we didn't have to waste our time doing this, but it is a necessary evil to fix this," said Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan.

Sheridan briefed deputies back in October about the judge's ruling and some new policies.  The judge didn't like some of what he said.

"This judge put the same constraints on us that a federal judge did with the city of New Orleans Police Department and their officers were murdering people.  That is how ludicrous this crap is," said Sheridan.

The Sheriff spoke too.

"What the Chief Deputy said is what I have been saying," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  "We don't racially profile.  Forget what everybody says."

In federal court Monday, the judge said he was disappointed with the comments and accused MCSO brass of double-dealing.

"The biggest concern of this court and that is completely understood by Chief Deputy Sheridan is that the tone and tenor perceived by an objective observer was not one of a commander being absolutely clear that every member of the MCSO has got to respect and comply with the letter and the spirit of this court order," said MCSO attorney Tim Liddy.

In court, the Chief Deputy apologized and said he made the comment out of frustration with declining morale.

"To their credit, MCSO came forward and expressed that they knew they has made a serious mistake and they said they won't make such a mistake again.  Proof will be in the pudding. If MCSO crosses the line that the court has drawn and the constitution has drawn, I think we will see some serious measures in the future," said Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union.  "They actually were taking steps and making comments that would tend to undermine the deputy's compliance with the order and that is a very serious matter for the top brass of a law enforcement agency that has been held by a federally court to have systematically violated the community's constitutional rights to make such comments. I do not think we will see that again."

Opponents of the Sheriff hoped the judge would have cracked down harder.

"He has definitely toned down ever since the Department of Justice and the judge and everyone else has gone after, however he is still being very resistant," said Sandra Castro of Puente Arizona.

The judge says he will be asking for a letter from MCSO correcting some of the Chief Deputy's comments.

After the hearing, the Sheriff didn't say much, only that his attorneys are appealing the judge's ruling.

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