PHOENIX — A group of Latinos is arguing in federal court that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies carried out racial profiling as part of policy of discrimination. The civil lawsuit involving Arpaio — the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America — has put his anti-illegal immigration patrols on center stage.

Tim Casey, who is defending Arpaio, said Thursday that the patrols were properly planned out and executed. He said they exceeded police standards. “Race and ethnicity had nothing to do with the traffic stops.”