President Trump’s decision yesterday to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has resulted in some criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for ignoring the rule of law and undermining a recent court decision after the self described “America’s toughest sheriff ” was found guilty last month of misdemeanor contempt of court in Arizona related to his past failure to comply with the court’s order to stop racial profiling practices.
President Trump tweeted yesterday, “I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!”
I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
Republican Senator John McCain issued a statement yesterday that was critical of President Trump’s recent presidential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt 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” Sen. McCain wrote.
Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted criticism for the President’s recent pardon of Joe Arpaio.
“Joe Arpaio ignored the courts and the rule of law in order to systematically target Latinos in AZ. The definition of racism and bigotry” Sen. Schumer tweeted yesterday.
Joe Arpaio ignored the courts and the rule of law in order to systematically target Latinos in AZ. The definition of racism and bigotry.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2017
On July 31, 2017 U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that Arpaio “willfully violated an order of the court” through his failure “to ensure his subordinates’ compliance and by directing them to continue to detain persons for whom no criminal charges could be filed.”
Arpaio was raised throughout his life by his father and enlisted in the U.S. army before entering law enforcement.
He was elected Sheriff of Maricopa County from 1993-2016 and caused controversy over his racial profiling practices towards Latinos and unlawful enforcement practices with immigration laws.
Due to frequent complaints of racial profiling, a federal court monitor was appointed to oversee his office’s operations.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Arpaio for unlawful discriminatory police conduct after declaring that he oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history.
Besides earning a reputation for his controversial racial profiling practices, Arpaio made news headlines for his unorthodox detention practices including his decision to institute an in-house radio station for inmates that broadcasted classical and patriotic music and setting up a “Tent City” in 1993 for inmates in Maricopa County Arizona where desert heat reaches above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arpaio required that inmates wear pink underwear and pinstripe jail clothing.
Tent City was widely criticized by human rights groups that declared there were violations of human rights and constitutional protections.
Arpaio also helped to lead a “birther” investigation over the birth certificate of former U.S. President Barack Obama which President Trump also made an important issue before he decided to run for U.S. president.
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