On Friday U.S. District Judge Murray Snow found Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in contempt of court regarding racial profiling practices. Snow ruled that Arpaio “and three of his top aides violated an order meant to curtail racial profiling in his agency.”
According to AZ Central, Arpaio was found in contempt on “three potential counts.” Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan “was found in contempt on two counts, and retired Chief Brian Sands and Lt. Joe Sousa each were found in contempt of one.”
Snow ruled that Arpaio, Sheridan, Sands, and Sousa “have engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, dishonesty, and bad faith with respect to the Plaintiff class and the protection of its rights.”
Arpaio and Sheridan had already admitted to violating court orders prior to Snow’s ruling. But they said their violation was “due to miscommunication and confusion rather than willful defiance.” For this reason, the ruling is one of civil contempt–rather than criminal–so AZ Central describes the contempt ruling as “largely a formality.”
On May 31 Judge Snow will meet with attorneys to discuss penalty options for the contempt ruling and will also issue an order as to “whether he [will] refer the case for a criminal contempt trial.”
Former Buckeye, Arizona police chief Dan Saban is running against Arpaio this November. The Daily Mail reports that Saban reacted to the contempt ruling by saying “it was time for the longtime sheriff to resign.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.