Latinos detained illegally by Arpaio can now seek compensation from government


The people illegally detained over a more than two-year period by Joe Arpaio, who was then the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, may now seek compensation, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow in 2011 found that Arpaio’s traffic patrols targeted Latinos and ordered him to stop. The patrols continued, however, until late May 2013. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for continuing the patrols.


Snow in August 2016 ordered the creation of a taxpayer-funded system to compensate those illegally detained. The application period for seeking compensation will last a year and began Friday.

Officials in Maricopa County have about $1 million prepared to help cover the compensation costs, the AP reported.

President Trump earlier this year pardoned the retired sheriff, saving him from a possible jail sentence.

Despite the pardon, taxpayers in Maricopa County will still have to help repay the people who were detained. Under the system, an individual would receive $500 for the first hour they were illegally detained and then $35 for each additional 20-minute increment they were held, according to the report.

While the judge imposed a $10,000 cap on the compensation for each person, he left the door open for them to seek compensation for other consequences of being illegally detained, such as lost wages. 

According to the report, the lawyers who pressed the case against Arpaio are reportedly searching for victims who would be eligible for compensation, and will likely launch an advertising campaign to help locate them.


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