Today, President Trump pardoned convicted felon, disgraced former sheriff, Joe Arpaio. The NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, released the following statement.
“Joe Arpaio ruled Maricopa County, Arizona with an iron-fist, under the guise of ‘law and order,’” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP. “For decades, Arpaio used fear, cruelty and tyranny to advance his own political ambitions at the deaths and suffering of countless people of color.
“Put simply, Arpaio is a remorseless criminal who took the law into his own hands and enacted racist policing policies. He betrayed his oaths as a police officer to protect and serve the people of his community. Arpaio should not have been pardoned.
“On the same night that President Trump has directed the military to implement his ban on transgender people, his decision to pardon Arpaio is yet another insult to marginalized voices across our nation. In the wake of the riot in Charlottesville started by domestic terrorists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Trump has once again shown us his true colors and his support for racism and violence. By pardoning Arpaio, Trump has endorsed Arpaio’s abhorrent behavior and has opened the gates for other bigots to follow in his footsteps.
“We acknowledge that the President has broad powers to pardon convicted criminals, but providing a presidential pardon should only be reserved for those who are truly apologetic for their crimes, not those who, if given the chance, would gladly commit those crimes again. Arpaio’s rule as Sherriff was cruel and crime ridden, and the NAACP will continue to fight against people who share his hateful ideologies.