Trump has pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Trump had signaled this week that the first presidential pardon of his administration would go to Arpaio, 85, whom he has frequently praised for his hardline immigration stance
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces newly launched program aimed at providing security around schools in Anthem, Arizona – Photo:Laura Segall/REUTERS
25/08/2017
19:37
Reuters
Phoenix
Jeff Mason, Steve Holland, Bill Trott, and Julia Harte
-A +A

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday granted a pardon to former Arizona lawman and political ally Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” less than a month after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving his department’s racial profiling policy.

Trump had signaled this week that the first presidential pardon of his administration would go to Arpaio, 85, whom he has frequently praised for his hardline immigration stance.

“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” said the White House statement announcing Arpaio’s pardon.

U.S. President Donald Trump hinted on Tuesday that he would issue a pardon for Joe Arpaio, a controversial former sheriff convicted last month of criminal contempt in a racial profiling case.

Trump, who had already held out the possibility of a pardon for Arpaio, decided against announcing it at a major rally in Arizona on Tuesday night but suggested that he would step in at some point.

“I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, okay? But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy. But Sheriff Joe can feel good,” he said.

Arpaio, an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, was the sheriff of Maricopa County in Phoenix before he lost a re-election bid in 2016.

Last month a judge found him guilty of contempt for intentionally defying a 2011 court order that barred his officers from stopping and detaining Latino motorists solely on suspicion that they were in the United States illegally.

The judge in the underlying lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and others in 2007, held that such traffic stops were a violation of the motorists’ constitutional rights.

Arpaio, who was in office for 24 years, gained national prominence for his treatment of jail inmates and crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

sg

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