PHOENIX — The Latest on a report showing the sheriff’s office in metro Phoenix still treats minorities differently from white people (all times local):
Immigrant-rights attorneys say some deputies are making an overhaul of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s agency in metro Phoenix more difficult by resisting changes ordered by a judge in response to a racial profiling verdict.
The resistance of some officers and supervisors to the court-ordered changes arose in a hearing Wednesday in which lawyers discussed a recently released audit report of the agency’s traffic stops.
The report found that sheriff’s deputies were still treating minorities differently from white people.
Sheriff Paul Penzone, who took over the sheriff’s office in January, says it will take time to change the agency’s culture.
He says resistance to changes won’t be tolerated and that his office will confront those problems through discussions with employees, training and, if needed, through firings.
A recently released audit report produced in a racial profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says Hispanics are more likely to be searched and arrested by sheriff’s deputies in traffic stops than whites.
The report studies the effects of changes ordered nearly four years ago after a judge concluded officers of then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio had racially profiled Hispanics in immigration patrols.
The study examined traffic stops from July 2015 through June 2016, near the end of Arpaio’s 24-year tenure as sheriff. Its findings were released last week.
The agency’s response to the report is expected to be discussed at a court hearing Wednesday.
Arpaio’s successor, Paul Penzone, is developing plans for confronting the problems identified in the report.
Penzone’s office declined to comment on the report.