Ariz. sheriff takes the witness stand at trial
PHOENIX – An Arizona sheriff known nationally for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration took the witness stand Tuesday and faced allegations that his trademark immigration sweeps amount to racial profiling against Hispanics.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, testifying in defense at a civil trial, was questioned about statements that critics say show prejudiced thinking. Plaintiffs’ lawyers asked Arpaio about a statement in which he called illegal immigrants “dirty” and another that seemed to express admiration for the Ku Klux Klan.
Arpaio said the statement about immigrants was taken out of context, adding if a person were to cross the U.S.-Mexico border on foot over four days in the desert that person “could be dirty. That’s the context on how I used that word.”
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