[8/26/17/ SPUTNIK] On Friday, US President Donald Trump granted a pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A political ally of Trump, Arpaio dubbed himself “the toughest sheriff in America.” He was pardoned less than a month after being convicted in a criminal contempt case stemming from his department’s racial profiling activities.
Trump strongly hinted that he would pardon Arpaio in an August 14 interview with Fox News, saying he was “seriously considering” it. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him,” the president said.
At a Phoenix rally on Tuesday he reiterated this sentiment saying,”I’ll make a prediction: I think [Arpaio’s] going to be just fine.”
In late July the 83-year-old former lawman was found guilty of violating a court order for targeting people suspected of being undocumented immigrants during traffic raids. He was scheduled for sentencing in early October and faced up to six months in jail.
Arpaio was infamous for tormenting and humiliating inmates by making them wear pink underwear, for example, and forcing them to live in tents in Arizona’s hot desert climate, where temperatures can reach 115 degrees.
The White House said in a statement, “Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”