In a surprising turn of events, a federal judge has defied President Trump and refused to overturn notorious racist and human rights violator Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s conviction for contempt of court.
While Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump earlier this year in an obvious signal to his base supporters of rabid white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Confederate sympathizers, he won’t be walking away with a clean record.
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U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton noted that while Trump’s pardon “undoubtedly spared the Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case.”
Six-term sheriff Arpaio gained notoriety for “crime suppression sweeps” that rounded up Hispanics and suspected illegal immigrants en masse. He was ordered to stop by a court in 2011, but he continued to run his racist sweeps for another 18 months so he could burnish his xenophobic credibility for his re-election campaign.
Arpaio tried to argue that he had violated the order “unintentionally,” but it appears the judge didn’t buy that obvious excuse.
As sheriff, he was accused of a wide number of crimes, including “abuse of power, misuse of funds, failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, and election law violations.”
He set up what he himself referred to as a “concentration camp” for prisoners and established an armed anti-illegal immigration militia to help patrol the border. He also failed to investigate 32 child molestation cases because the victims were the children of illegal immigrants.
While he may not be serving any jail time, at least he’s not walking away entirely scot-free.