Thursday, August 2, 2012
Discrimination lawsuits like the one against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are hard to win, say legal experts.
Such lawsuits have a high bar to clear to convince a judge that there was systematic discrimination in the agency, the experts say.
The civil lawsuit against Arpaio – brought by a group of Latinos — marks the first case in which the sheriff’s office has been accused of systematically profiling Latinos and will serve as a precursor for a similar yet broader civil rights lawsuit filed against Arpaio and his agency by the U.S. Justice Department.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys presented insulting letters about Latinos, tearful personal stories and reams of statistics in an attempt to show a pattern by the sheriff and his department of singling out Latinos for enforcement.