WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League denounced Friday’s pardon by President Trump of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been found guilty of guilty of racial profiling.
Despite having been found guilty in 2013 and being ordered to end the practice of profiling Latino individuals, Arpaio continued to defy the order, and instructed his officers to park their cruisers in front of elementary schools and community health clinics in Latino neighborhoods.
Arpaio was later found in contempt by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.
In a statement, the JACL’s Washington Office said, “President Trump, while granted wide power to pardon by the Constitution, has abused this power in granting a pardon to Mr. Arpaio who not only was found to be systematically using racial profiling and terrorizing the Latino community, but also found guilty of defying a direct order from the courts. No one should be above the law, especially those who have sworn to protect and uphold it.
“This pardon sends a strong signal that the Trump administration holds little regard for the rule of law and will continue the practice of institutional racism. This cannot and should not be tolerated. We applaud the widespread and bipartisan condemnation of this pardon and the signal it sends to the public, law enforcement officials, and the judiciary.”
Arizona JACL Chapter President Donna Cheung said, “A healthy democracy requires an independent judiciary so that justice will be served and not denied by the whims of personal loyalty. After placing faith in the U.S. judicial system, the Arizona Latino community, like the Japanese American community many years ago, has been denied justice. We stand with the Arizona Latino community in solidarity and understanding.”