Judge rejects request to dismiss suit over sweeps

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A federal judge denied a request by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to dismiss a lawsuit against him that alleges his deputies have racially profiled Hispanics.

The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia allows lawyers for the Hispanic civil rights group Somos America and other plaintiffs to continue pressing their allegations in court.

Lawyers representing Arpaio had argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because it didn't specify a legal claim on which on which relief could be granted. The judge rejected the argument.

While Arpaio defends his crime and immigration sweeps as necessary for improving public safety, he has been criticized heavily for conducting the crackdowns in heavily Hispanic areas.

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