The editorial board of the Arizona Republic blasted President Donald Trump for pardoning Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff who was found guilty of contempt after profiling Latinos.
Trump on Friday pardoned Arpaio, who notoriously detained inmates under brutal and inhumane conditions. The 85-year-old sheriff was found guilty in July of ignoring a court order prohibiting him from detaining people based solely on suspicions about their immigration status.
The Arizona Republic’s editorial board said Trump’s pardon showed the president entirely accepted institutional racism.
“By pardoning Arpaio, Trump made it clear that institutional racism is not just OK with him. It is a goal,” the board wrote. The pardon, they wrote “elevates Arpaio once again to the pantheon of those who see institutional racism as something that made America great.”
The board wrote that a pardon for Arpaio wasn’t just insulting to Latinos, but to all.
“The pardon was a slap to those who worked through the judicial system to make Arpaio accountable, too. It robbed the people hurt by his policies of justice – even before a judge could mete out a sentence,” it said. “The pardon was a sign of pure contempt for every American who believes in justice, human dignity and the rule of law.”
The Arizona Republic was not the only newspaper to speak out over Trump’s decision. The Phoenix New Times, a weekly newspaper, posted a series of tweets outlining several of Arpaio’s most controversial acts over the years.
Among the leading political figures to criticize Trump for his pardon was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
“The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions,” McCain said in a statement.
Read the Arizona Republic’s full editorial here.