President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order not to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.
A judge ruled on July 31 that Arpaio committed a crime by disobeying a court order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants. In 2013, a judge found Arpaio and his deputies had engaged in racial profiling against Latinos, backing up the findings of a 2011 Justice Department report.
The American Civil Liberties Union said “Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing,” and called the pardon “a presidential endorsement of racism.”
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona criticized the pardon. He said in a statement that “no one is above the law” and that Arpaio was found guilty “for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders.” “The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions,” McCain said.
Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said of the pardon on Twitter: “I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course.”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, called the pardon a “slap in the face” to the people of Maricopa County and said Arpaio “targeted and terrorized Latino families because of the color of their skin.” The NAACP called the pardon an “explicit embrace of the racist policing practices that leave communities fearful.”Tweet