Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in court over profiling case

Some high-ranking Maricopa County Sheriff's Office officials testified in Federal Court Tuesday against their boss, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff Arpaio is facing a four-day contempt of court hearing where the American Civil Liberties Union attorneys are trying to prove he ignored a Federal Judge's order to stop his immigration enforcement patrols.

Arpaio already admitted to violating the judge's order. He's offered to make a public apology and donate his own money to civil rights organizations.

A judge rejected the requests and so Tuesday was the first day of the contempt hearings.

Arpaio is on the witness list, but he did not testify Tuesday. Some of his Sergeants did take the stand and testified against him.

Arpaio could only be seen through the windows of the court building as he left the first day of his contempt of court hearing, following testimony from one of his sergeants.

"I think today we saw the truth is beginning to come out, we saw already the violations of court orders were due to the deliberate decisions by Sheriff Arpaio," said ACLU Attorney Cecillia Wang.

In 2011, a judge ordered Arpaio to stop detaining people solely on the suspicion of being in the country illegally. MCSO Sergeant Brett Palmer said about a month after the ruling he voices his concern about being in violation of court orders after MCSO detained some people suspected only of being undocumented.

"He got a call from Sheriff Arpaio insisting he continue to detain those people at an MCSO building so the Sheriff could come and do a press conference, and it's an appalling violation if it happened that way, that's an appalling violation of the courts order," said Wang.

Wang said there were other issues that arose with MCSO before Tuesday's hearing even started.

"The judge ordered them to produce certain documents to us by February 27, 2015, and they didn't even start to search for those documents until last week, or the week before. We are here in large part because of a failure for MCSO and the Sheriff to be above board with the people of this county about what the agency is doing. That has continued to this day, so we are going to drag the truth into the light, and the agency may be kicking and screaming about it, but it will happen," she said.

The Sergeant and others who testified against Arpaio are still employed by the Sheriff's Office. Wang says she hopes they will not be retaliated against, especially now that this is in the public eye.

The hearings will continue on Wednesday.

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