In a move on Friday that has outraged a great number of people in the United States, President Donald Trump granted political ally and former Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio a pardon. The pardon to Arpaio, who calls himself the toughest sheriff in the country, came less than a month following his conviction of criminal contempt in a case about the racial profiling policy of his department.
The president had indicated all week that the 85-year-old Arpaio would be his first presidential pardon. Trump has frequently praised Arpaio for his hardline stance on immigration. Trump stated that during his time as sheriff, Arpaio worked very hard to protect the public he served from illegal immigration and the “scourges of crime” that comes from it.
Arpaio served as sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona for 24 years before losing a re-election campaign in November 2016. He was known nationwide for his hard and intense crackdown on illegal and undocumented immigrants. He really made a name for himself when he began investigating the Trump-supported claims that questioned the citizenship of former President Barack Obama, according to AOL.
Prior to the pardon being given to Joe Arpaio by Trump, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), attempted to get a court injunction against the former sheriff. The ACLU said that the pardon would be an endorsement of racism from the president.
Arpaio campaigned for Donald Trump in 2016. On July 31, Susan Bolton, a U.S. District Judge, convicted Arpaio, saying that he had violated an injunction handed out in 2011 that barred his officers from stopping Latino motorists and detaining them just because they may think they were illegally in the country. Arpaio did admit to disobeying the court order. He said it was inadvertent, and stated that his actions did not meet any criminal standard. According to the 85-year-old, the prosecution was politically motivative. He said the Obama administration was attempting to undermine his campaign for re-election.
During his time as sheriff, Arpaio made national headlines. He oversaw massive roundups of immigrants suspected of being illegal. He also had a unique way of running the jail in Maricopa County. While sheriff, he brought back chain gangs to do hard labor jobs outside the jail, and he made inmates wear other old-fashion black and white stripped uniforms or bright pink uniforms. He also forbid the inmates basic items like salt, pepper, and coffee.
What do you CDA News readers think? Following the violence in Virginia and the president’s unwillingness to immediately denounce the white supremacist hate groups involved, what message does the pardon of Joe Arpaio send to the American people? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By Cletus Dillwood