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Guadalupe residents discuss racial profiling by sheriff’s department

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Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

By Lacey Darrow


JAMIE WARREN/CRONKITE NEWS: As tensions in Pinal County rise, the community of Guadalupe met with a federal monitor to discuss racial profiling in their community by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Reporter Lacey Darrow was there to see how both sides are trying to move forward.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: Tensions were high yesterday at Frank Elementary School where community
members met to discuss issues and opinions on the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office.

Last year, a federal court found that MCSO racially profiled Latinos during traffic stops, violating their constitutional rights.

OSCAR HERNANDEZ/GUADALUPE RESIDENT: I never was, I never are, I never will be a criminal. I am a decent person.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: Chief Robert Warshaw, who was appointed by a federal judge as a monitor in the case, said that there are 87 items on a compliance checklist that are being closely examined by his office. Of those 87, 76 are still not in full compliance.

CHIEF ROBERT WARSHAW/COURT-APPOINTED MONITOR: The numbers are not good. Los numeros no son buenos. But that does not mean that we have not seen evidence that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is not trying.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan stressed that things in his office are changing rapidly and he is hoping that the opinion of the community will begin to change as well.

CHIEF DEPUTY JERRY SHERIDAN/ MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE: If we continue to go back and talk about what happened six years ago, eight years ago, we can never move forward.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: But longtime members of the community say that they can’t just forget the injustices of the past.

ISMAEL OSUNA/GUADELUPE RESIDENT: If we are going to keep moving forward we are going to have to correct the wrongs that were done back then.

LACEY DARROW/CRONKITE NEWS: From Guadalupe, Lacey Darrow, Cronkite News.

JAMIE WARREN/CRONKITE NEWS: Chief Warshaw says that this is just one of many meetings that will be held in Guadalupe to try and repair relationships between the citizens and the sheriff’s office.