Convicted Sheriff Pardoned by Trump

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump on August 25th, 2017, after being charged with racially profiling Latinos. Joe Arpaio, from Maricopa County in Arizona, first made headlines February 4th, 2009 by handcuffing almost 200 illegal immigrants together in Tent City, Phoenix, for incarceration prior to their trials. Some of the inhabitants of Arpaio’s tent city died due to the harsh conditions. Arpaio has been convicted of a criminal charge for disobeying a court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants on Monday, July 31, 2017.

U.S. District Court Judge, G. Murray Snow, ordered Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies to stop detaining individuals unless they were accused of state a crime. Despite this, his deputies continued to arrest Latinos for over 17 months, in defiance of a court order.

Sheriff Arpaio has been in and out of investigations for racial profiling since December of 2011, but it isn’t until now that the investigation has been finalized.

Witnesses testified during Arpaio’s trial that 117 individual were illegally caught and turned over to U.S. immigration, Customs Enforcement, or border patrol.

Mr. Kahl stated, “I think he shouldn’t have been pardoned and should have been sent to jail for breaking a federal law. I think it’s sad how he [Trump] used his power to pardon someone who didn’t deserve it.” Senior Erin Anderson shared, “It shows an incredible lack of justice in a supposedly free country.”

In the United States of America, we have a fundamental belief that all men are innocent until proven guilty. Sheriff Joe Arpaio should know this first hand.

There is more than just one side to this issue; it is a complex mixture of law enforcement responsibility and an overstep of federal power. On one hand, Joe Arpaio had a legal obligation to enforce federal immigration laws; on the other hand, he overstepped his authority and took things too far. He may have started with the right intentions, but the process quickly escalated.  

Other controversial acts by Arpaio include his reinstitution of chain gangs in 1995, possible misuse of funds,  failure to properly investigate upwards of 400 sex crimes including the rapes of three teenage girls and over 32 cases of child molestation, various failed corruption investigations of political opponents and violation of election law.

By Sarah Hanson

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