Thursday, August 24, 2017
Pardoning Joe Arpaio: Vanita Gupta: A Pardon "will not be a dog whistle to the so-called ‘alt right’ and white supremacists, but a bull horn."
Former Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a polarizing national figure, has been found guilty of criminal contempt for intentionally violating numerous federal court orders in a civil rights lawsuit challenging the law enforcement practices of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. There has been much discussion of a pardon of Sheriff Arpaio. President Trump suggested at his speech in Phoenix earlier this week that the controversial Sheriff would come out alright.
Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement urging President Trump not to pardon Sheriff Arpaio:
“Rather than taking action to unite our nation and heal the wounds he has opened, President Trump is considering using the power of his office to sow hate and division. Sheriff Joe Arpaio personifies the same bigotry and intolerance we witnessed in Charlottesville. A pardon of Sheriff Arpaio would be excusing racist and illegal policing policies.
If President Trump uses his power to pardon a discredited law enforcement official who persistently engaged in illegal racial profiling of the Latino community, it will not be a dog whistle to the so-called ‘alt right’ and white supremacists, but a bull horn. No amount of tweets or forced remarks read from a teleprompter could undo the damage.”