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Racial profiling trial begins for Sheriff Arpaio

Racial profiling trial begins for Sheriff Arpaio

CREATED Jul 19, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith
Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo

PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV/AP) - For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has denied any allegations that his deputies racially profile Hispanics in his immigration patrols.

Beginning today, Sheriff Arpaio will have to convince a federal judge presiding over a lawsuit against him.

Plaintiffs say Arpaio's officers based some traffic stops on the race of Hispanics who were in vehicles, had no probable cause to pull them over and made the stops so they could inquire about their immigration status.

Attorney's for Sheriff Arpaio say that all the traffic stops were unrelated to race and deputies where unaware of ethnicity until stops were made.

Testimony began with a criminal justice statistician who said officers assigned to the immigration patrols were 53% more like to run the names of people with Hispanic surnames.

Craig Smith is in the courtroom and will have a full recap from Phoenix coming up on KGUN9 On Your Side at 5:00 p.m.