Washington, D.C. – Today, President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for ignoring a 2011 court order. The court order prohibited Arpaio from violating the constitutional rights of minorities by using racial profiling when stopping and detaining Latinos.
In 2011, Federal District Judge G. Murray Snow ordered the former sheriff to stop detaining individuals based solely on the suspicion that they were undocumented.
“Law enforcement officers are in the ultimate position of trust in this country and must be held accountable when they choose to ignore constitutional protections afforded to all Americans,” said LULAC National CEO Brent Wilkes. “President Trump’s pardon of Arpaio emboldens racism and condones racial profiling.”
More than 4 million people call Maricopa County home and about 30 percent of them are Hispanic. The former sheriff systematically stopped Latinos based solely on the suspicion they were undocumented and turned them over to federal immigration authorities for deportation. Joe Arpaio served as Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff from 1992 to 2016 and was scheduled to be sentenced on October 5. The former sheriff faced up to six months in jail.
“There is no question that Arpaio ‘willfully violated’ the court order,” continued Wilkes. “Throughout his tenure as the Maricopa County Sheriff, he was an unapologetic, anti-immigrant, racist who made a career out of criminalizing hard working people. We are disappointed that the people he hurt have been denied the opportunity to see Arpaio pay for his crimes.”