Here's What You Need to Know About the Racist Sheriff Trump Just Pardoned

By: Kayla Pasacreta

During Trump's Tuesday rally in Phoenix, he dropped hints at pardoning Sheriff Arpaio. However, his Friday night announcement, in the midst of a devastating Texas hurricane, was still disappointing. While it's difficult to be surprised at anything Trump does (the craziness is becoming commonplace), his pardon of Arpaio even forced conservatives like John McCain  to condemn his decision. Additionally, pardons are normally given approval by the Department of Justice, but Trump did not run his pardon by the Department of Justice for a consultation.

Joe Arpaio served as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona from 1993-2016.  Last July, he was convicted in criminal contempt of refusing to stop racially profiling Latinos. During his time as Sheriff, he cost Arizona $70 million in settlement money. In 2011, the Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into the Maricopa County Police Department. In their written report, the Department of Justice stated, 

We find that MSCO, through the actions of its deputies, supervisory staff, and command staff, engages in racial profiling of Latinos, unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos; and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain or criticize MSCO’s policies or practices.
— Department of Justice
 Joe Arpaio, photo via  Slate

Joe Arpaio, photo via Slate

The report also found Latinos are four times more likely to be stopped, and also are commonly stopped, detained, and arrested without any probable cause. Arpaio was often known to instruct deputies to stop as many Latinos as possible. The focus on racial profiling Latinos also caused the department to often ignore cases of sexual abuse and assault. Women of color were also routinely denied basic sanitary items, like pads and tampons, and were often left to bleed in their cells. Despite the Department of Justice's findings, many staunch Republicans considered it to simply be a political witch-hunt and unfair punishment for Arpaio simply "doing his job.

Arpaio also famously constructed "Tent City", an outdoor jail that Arpaio himself likened to a concentration camp and described as "where all the Mexicans are". He forced Arizona prisoners to stay in these tents in the blazing Arizona heat, which sometimes reached up to 145 degrees. Arpaio saw humiliation as a critical aspect of jail, and made sure detainees were embarrassed and subject to tough conditions.

This is the dude your President saw worthy of a Presidential pardon.


Kayla PasacretaComment