Days after President Donald Trump hinted that he’d pardon former Maricopa County Joe Arpaio – whose racist policing adversely affected black and brown communities for more than two decades – he has followed through. US District Judge Susan Bolton found Arpaio guilty for disobeying a 2011 judge’s order to put an end to the racial profiling of Latinos, according to the Los Angeles Times. Three weeks ago, a judge found Arpaio guilty of contempt of court for not putting an end to traffic patrols that targeted immigrants and Latinos following a court order. He faced up to six months in jail.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump granted a Presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona,” the White House said, according to BuzzFeed. “Arpaio’s life and career, which began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War, exemplify selfless public service. After serving in the Army, Arpaio became a police officer in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas, NV and later served as a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), formerly the Bureau of Narcotics. After 25 years of admirable service, Arpaio went on to lead the DEA’s branch in Arizona.
“In 1992, the problems facing his community pulled Arpaio out of retirement to return to law enforcement. He ran and won a campaign to become Sheriff of Maricopa County. Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Trump should never have pardoned Arpaio (here is a brief look at his history of terrorizing communities of color), but especially not now. As Texans brace themselves for Hurricane Harvey – a category 4 storm that endangers more than 4.6 million people – President Donald Trump couldn’t cobble together a substantial response about the situation. “Good luck,” he told them in a video ABC News published at almost 1 p.m. As the hurricane is set to make landfall, Trump chose his priorities: pardoning a man recently convicted for his inability to control his racist impulses.
As expected, people are outraged. Check out a few tweets about Trump pardoning Arpaio below: