Earlier this week at his Phoenix rally, President Trump said that former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was previously convicted of contempt of court for refusing to put an end to his department’s racial profiling, was “going to be just fine.” On Friday, President Trump officially pardoned Arpaio.
While fans of both Trump and Arpaio are pleased with the news, much of the country has a very different attitude toward Arpaio’s pardon. When Arpaio thanked Trump via Twitter on Friday evening, a number of people responded by letting him know that they do not support him or the president’s decision.
Meanwhile, American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Cecilia Wang, who sought the court injunction against Arpaio, said about the decision:
‘Once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed immigration enforcement practices that target people of color and that have been struck down by the courts.’
Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division, also said the pardon sends “a dangerous message that a law enforcement officer who abused his position of power and defied a court order can simply be excused by a president who himself clearly does not respect the law.”
The Phoenix New Times, a local Arizona newspaper, joined in on Friday evening by posting a 23-tweet thread detailing all of the things Arpaio has done over the last 20 years that should have made it impossible for him to be pardoned.
Arpaio’s reference to his “Tent City” — an outdoor jail that housed thousands of inmates, many of them undocumented immigrants — as a “concentration camp” was, of course, at the top of the Phoenix New Times‘ list.
The paper also noted a number of other inhumane practices that Arpaio approved over the years, including his “Mugshot of the Day” contest, violence against a disabled inmate, and the decision to chain up Hispanic inmates and parade them through the streets.
The newspaper’s full thread is shown in the screenshots below.
While a few commenters responded to the thread by saying that Arpaio was right to treat inmates so poorly — many argued that prisoners shouldn’t feel like they are at a “country club” — the majority thanked the Phoenix New Times for posting the thread and expressed their frustration over Arpaio’s pardon.
Featured image via Ethan Miller/Getty Images.