Can I sue the pinal county sheriff's office for false arrest and racial profiling?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Tan Valley, AZ

In the state of Arizona it is not illegal to be missing a passanger side mirrior. As long as the car has at least one driver side or one rear view mirror. My girfriend and I was driving a Geo Metro, and its all but a huge glass bubble with no blind spots. We were on a two lane rd with no options to merge or make a right turn. We had a Sheriff whip behind us quickly with little room to spare between us and the car behind us. This tells me he made us a mark at this point. He tailed us for over a half mile and two LEFT turns not breaking any laws to that point when he pulled us over. At this point it was told to us that we were pulled over because we were missing a passenger side mirrior wich had been missing for over 2 years with np my girl is Mexican and I am tatooed wht i was arrested

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Paul E Knost

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . From your question, it sounds like you want to sue because you believe you were stopped because your girlfriend is Mexican and you have tattoos. In order to sue the Pinal County Sheriff's Office for a violation of civil rights, you will have to prove that you were targeted for an improper reason. Your tattoos are actually something that police are trained to target. Your girlfriend's ethnicity is a different matter.

    If the officer told you that he stopped you for missing a passenger side mirror, then my question becomes:
    1) did he write you a citation? If so, what statute(s) did he list?
    2) were you arrested? Your question is not clear on this. If so, what were you arrested for?
    3) was your girlfriend arrested? If so, what was she arrested for?
    4) did the officer do nothing more than check your license, registration, and insurance, then send you on your way? If that is the case, do you know which officer stopped you?
    5) did the officer say anything to you or your girlfriend about her ethnicity?
    6) was your car or your person searched? Was anything illegal found?
    7) what are your damages? Were you simply inconvenienced by the stop?

    All of these are just a few of the issues you will need to be thinking about if you want to sue the Pinal County Sheriff's office. These types of law suits are not common, but when they arise, they are of huge importance. They are difficult. The government has an army of lawyers ready to defend. Also, you have to file a "notice of claim" within 180 days of the incident if you want to sue the county.

    I would be happy to interview you more about this to see if there is a valid claim. Based on the information you provided, it does not seem like there is. But I am willing to listen and talk to you to see if there is or not. Click on the link below and it will take you to my web site with all of my contact information.

    God bless!


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