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Racial profiling trial begins for Ariz. sheriff
Trial begins over whether Latinos are racially profiled in Ariz. sheriff's immigration patrols
By The Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's anti-illegal immigration patrols are taking center stage in federal court in Phoenix.

A lawyer for a group of Latinos who filed a civil lawsuit against his department said in opening statements Thursday that the evidence will show that Arpaio and his deputies racially profiled Hispanics.

Tim Casey, who is defending Arpaio, says the patrols were properly planned out and executed. He says they exceeded police standards.

The plaintiffs aren't seeking money damages. They want a declaration that Arpaio's office racially profiles and an order that requires it to make changes to prevent what they said is discriminatory policing.

Arpaio was not expected in court Thursday.

The case will serve as a bellwether for a similar yet broader federal civil rights lawsuit filed against Arpaio in May.

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