Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio got what he deserved when he was found guilty of criminal contempt over violating a 2011 court order that prohibited him and Maricopa County sheriffs from racially profiling Latinxs and detaining them on the assumption that they were undocumented.
"America's toughest sheriff" maintains his innocence, claiming that the 2011 order wasn't clear. However, his history of publicly boasting about refusing to change his practices reveals the opposite.
"If they don’t like what I’m doing, get the laws changed in Washington," he told the Los Angeles Times in a 2012 interview.
So when United States district judge Susan R. Bolton brought down her hammer on July 31 and left Arpaio facing the possibility of up to six months in prison, immigrants everywhere rejoiced.
But instead of condemning Arpaio, President Donald Trump is floating the idea of giving this disgraceful individual his administration's first presidential pardon.
“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump told Fox News.
Source: Fox News
“He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”
We wish we could say we were surprised, but rhetoric that emboldens racists and bigots is the norm for Trump. Equating Arpaio to a patriot isn't just ignorant, it's dangerous, especially in light of the devastating events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend.
It's reprehensible that anyone would cut a man convicted not once, but TWICE of racial profiling ANY slack whatsoever.
Arpaio was found to be in civil contempt of the 2011 order back in 2013.
However, Trump's admiration for Arpaio is nothing new. According to Politico, the former sheriff was not only in charge of security at Trump's rallies after endorsing him in 2016, he occasionally served as a speaker.
“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration then Sheriff Joe?” Trump reportedly asked.
“He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”
Politico asked Arpaio if he had been contacted by the White House about the pardon, but he refused to answer. "I never asked for it, but I’ll accept it," Apraio said. "I’m not guilty, that’s for sure.”
Arpaio's sentencing is currently scheduled for October 5.