Judge rules MCSO violated father, son's constitutional rights

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PHOENIX--A judge has ruled a 2009 stop and arrest by Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies  of two Hispanic men violated the men's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful seizure.

In February 2009 Julian and Julio Mora were driving to work at a South Phoenix landscaping business when they were suddenly stopped and arrested by MCSO deputies.

Julian Mora is a legal resident, and his son Julio is a United States citizen, but both men were placed in flex cuffs and taken to the landscaping business where a work site raid was underway, and detained for more than three hours before being released.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Moras in 2009.

In the Court's ruling, released late Monday, the judge wrote that "the warantless arrest of plaintiffs was made without probable cause, and therefor in violation of the Fourth Amendment."

In addition to that ruling, the Court also found that Maricopa County will be held liable for the constitutional violations.

Whether the stop was racially motivated, and what damages the Moras are entitled to,  will be determined at trial to be held at a later date.

Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio said: "Let's see what the Federal court has to say on this Mora case," and said his deputies do not racially profile.

"I just hope they change things in their office," said Julio Mora about MCSO.