Trump pardons former Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio
President Donald Trump yesterday pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona who was convicted of violating a federal court order prohibiting his agency from racially profiling Latinos.
“Thank you @realdonaldtrump for seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department!” tweeted Arpaio, who campaigned for Trump in 2016. “I am humbled and incredibly grateful to President Trump. I look fwd to putting this chapter behind me and helping to #MAGA”
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt in July for “willfully violating a 2011 federal court order that required his agency to stop detaining people based solely on suspected civil immigration violations”.
The ACLU filed a class action lawsuit against Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in 2007. The court subsequently found that Arpaio and his agency violated the Constitution by racially profiling and illegally detaining Latinos.
Earlier this week, Trump hinted that he would pardon Arpaio, who was “convicted for doing his job”.
“I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine. Okay?” said Trump at a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday.
The ACLU denounced Trump’s pardon, calling the act “a presidential endorsement of racism”.
“The president has again acted in support of illegal immigration enforcement practices that target people of color”, ACLU tweeted. “By pardoning Joe Arpaio, Donald Trump has sent another disturbing signal to an emboldened white nationalist movement that this White House supports racism and bigotry.”