A Phoenix weekly is taking the opportunity to remind people exactly who President Donald Trump just pardoned.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who called himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” was convicted of criminal contempt in July after violating a 2011 court order in a racial profiling case. Arpaio and his office had been ordered not to detain people solely because they thought they might be in the country illegally. Trump pardoned Arpaio, 85, for the contempt charge on Friday.
Arpaio’s tenure as sheriff from 1993 through 2016 has received strong criticism from civil rights advocates, largely stemming from his extreme stance on immigration and for overseeing what they say was cruel treatment of inmates.
And few know those controversies better than the Phoenix New Times, an alternative weekly that’s doggedly covered Arpaio for two decades.
The night that Trump pardoned him, the Phoenix New Times unleashed an eye-opening Twitter thread reminding readers of some of the grimmest stories of Arpaio and his office.
The numerous tweets — which all link to previous Phoenix New Times stories — describe instances like Arpaio calling his state’s own jail a “concentration camp,” jailers breaking the neck of a paraplegic man, the failure of the sheriff’s office to investigate hundreds of sex abuse cases and a botched SWAT raid in which deputies allegedly laughed as a puppy burned to death.
Read the whole thread for yourself below.
The Phoenix New Times is not the only paper to come out against Trump’s decision. In a scathing editorial Friday, the Republic said Trump’s pardon was insulting.
“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. The pardon was a sign of pure contempt for every American who believes in justice, human dignity and the rule of law,” the editorial board wrote.
“By pardoning Arpaio, Trump made it clear that institutional racism is not just OK with him. It is a goal.”
CORRECTION: Arpaio served as sheriff of Maricopa County from 1993 through 2016, not 2005.