Arizona sheriff faces civil trial in alleged targeting of Latinos

Attorneys gave opening statements Thursday in a civil trial accusing an Arizona sheriff – who bills himself as “America’s toughest” – and his department of racial discrimination against Latinos.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and other attorneys are representing Hispanics in a class-action lawsuit accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of civil rights and constitutional violations. The bench trial is being held in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

In his opening remarks, Stanley Young, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told the judge that Arpaio and his department violated “the fundamental value of equal protection under the law” through a “policy of racial discrimination and mistreatment of Hispanics.”

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