- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is appealing a judge’s ruling clearing a North Carolina sheriff of allegations he ordered deputies to target Hispanic residents for enforcement, violating their civil rights.

The government on Friday appealed to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

A federal judge in August dismissed the government’s civil lawsuit against Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson alleging his deputies targeted Latinos for traffic stops. The judge ruled the Justice Department failed to demonstrate deputies engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional law enforcement.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said it had received complaints about Johnson, his deputies, and their treatment of Latinos for years. Johnson denied the allegations. The Republican was elected to a fourth four-year term in November after running unopposed.

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