Trump pardons controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio after he was convicted of contempt for refusing to stop targeting illegal immigrants for arrest

Saturday, August 26, 2017
By Paul Martin

President Donald Trump pardons controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Trump signed the pardon for the 85-year-old Arpaio on Friday night
In July, Arpaio was convicted in federal court of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling
Judge ruled he violated injunction barring officers from detaining suspected undocumented migrants

26 August 2017

President Donald Trump has granted a pardon to controversial former Arizona sheriff and political ally Joe Arpaio less than a month after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling.

Trump signed the pardon for the 85-year-old Arpaio on Friday night citing his long history of public service.

Arpaio, who campaigned for Trump in 2016, was convicted by a judge who ruled he had willfully violated a 2011 injunction barring his officers from stopping and detaining Latino motorists solely on suspicion that they were in the country illegally.

The former sheriff was facing up to six months in prison after he admitted to inadvertently disobeying the court order.

But he said the prosecution was a politically motivated attempt by the Obama administration to undermine his re-election bid.

Earlier in the week, critics of the retired sheriff said a pardon would remove the last chance at holding Arpaio legally accountable for a long history of misconduct during his 24 years as metro Phoenix’s top law enforcer.

Trump said in the statement pardoning Arpaio: ‘Arpaio’s life and career, which began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War, exemplify selfless public service.

‘Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.’

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.’

Arpaio, who lost a bid for re-election in Arizona’s Maricopa County in November after 24 years in office, was known for his crackdown on undocumented immigrants and investigating unfounded Trump-supported claims questioning former President Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Before Trump granted the pardon, the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought the court injunction against Arpaio, said it would be ‘a presidential endorsement of racism.’

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