Arpaio Free

I guess it won’t come as any surprise to readers of this blog that I am no fan of “Sheriff Joe”. Funnily enough, my conservative temperament tends to side against people who routinely ignore violent crime to pursue illegal immigration, whose myriad abuses have resulted in multiple deaths and $140 million in settlements and compound their illegal actions by ignoring a court order. The later finally resulted in a misdemeanor conviction for contempt of court although sentence had yet to be passed. Arpaio claims this was an Obama vendetta, but the case was about as clear-cut as cases get: brought by a federal judge, referred to the DOJ and pursued by career lawyers in Public Integrity.

Arpaio has been a hero in conservative circles for a while given his aggressive pursuit of illegal immigrants and his humiliation of prisoners. He shouldn’t be. The Phoenix New Times has been covering his abuses for years. Here’s a sampling:

Click the link, then scroll down. And while I would dubious of characterizing him as “one of the most racist evil men alive”, this thread also catalogues his abuses:

Web cams in women’s bathrooms, fake assassination attempts, using his office to spy on his opponents, detaining or arresting every Hispanic in sight, arresting reporters, denying critical care to prisoners (one instance of which results in the death of a baby). Call that “tough on crime” if you want. I call it lawlessness and thuggery.

This comes up because Donald Trump just pardoned him. While I support the use of the Presidential pardon, I am very conscious of ways it can be abused (e.g., Marc Rich). This falls into that category. Of all the people Trump could have pardoned, this is the first one he picks. I suspect its partially because he likes Arpaio (and David Clarke, another “hero” whose abuse of the law is legendary). And also partially Arpaio was an early Trump supporter.

So … to sum up … Trump just pardoned one of the most unlawful “lawmen” in America because he was a supporter.

So much for draining the swamp.

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  1. repmom

    Good post, Hal. I’ve been watching to see if you might have something to say on this subject.

    I confess to a time that I was “thumbs up” with this sheriff. Hard on crime, hard on criminals. But now seeing specifics as have been noted, I find it absolutely disgusting and inhumane.

    I find the pardon just as disgusting. And how cowardly of our President to do it on a Friday when all attention was turned to Hurricane Harvey. He even proudly tweeted on this pardon about the same time the category 4 Hurricane made landfall, when his attention should have been on Texas, not this racist pig.

    Side note – thank you to those offering concern and good wishes for us with this Hurricane. We are doing fine. Rain started around midnight last night and continued all today and this evening, with continued tornado alerts. But overall, we are faring much better than we did with Ike. No strong winds, no power losses. So not the case with so many closer to, and along the coast. Rockport especially suffered major damage. Areas still not out of woods with continued rain and flooding. Keep our great state in your thoughts and prayers, if you’re inclined to pray.

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  2. repmom

    Thanks, Hal. We are just north of Houston, so we weren’t in direct path of this Hurricane, though we prepared as if so, remembering Ike, where we had strong winds, downed trees, and power loss for days. And aware of heavy rain forecasts for all of Houston area for next several days.

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  3. CM

    Poor Houston, that looks awful. Glad you’re able to stay safe repmom.

    This piece is full to the brim of  verifiable, factual information. He’s proof of the depths of evil and cruelty humanity is capable of. And that’s aside from the  millions and millions of dollars his evil has cost his state in lawsuits. This goes far beyond racial profiling and into torture, murder, infanticide, sexual assault, and more.

    And that’s who your president just pardoned? Anyone still supporting him at this point needs to take a long, long, long look in the mirror.

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  4. repmom

    “And how cowardly of our President to do it on a Friday when all attention was turned to Hurricane Harvey.”

    Wow! Was I ever wrong on this call. Trump wasn’t being cowardly at all. He purposely did It that night knowing “the ratings would high”.

    He wanted the attention, wanted the spotlight on him. Couldn’t let it be on the Category 4 Hurricane, needed it to be on him.

    What really amazes me the most is that he announced this today like it was the most natural thing in the world to do.

    The man has absolutely no concept of appropriate vs inappropriate, of right vs wrong.

    Just incredible.

    Oh…and his visit to Texas tomorrow – too soon. Rescues are still taking place. Attention should remain on that, not on him.

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