Attorney and NBC News commentator Raul Reyes said on Saturday that President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio sends a message to the country that racism and lawlessness will be tolerated and even rewarded by the White House.
“What Arpaio did amounted to gross violations of human and civil rights,” Reyes said to MSNBC. “To be honest, it’s so heartbreaking and that was the least of it. He denied medical attention to diabetics and people with HIV who were in his care. He had women working in chain gangs. He deliberately humiliated prisoners by making them wear pink underwear, keeping them in these tent cities, also parading them around in front of the news media for his own publicity purposes. He himself referred to these tent cities as a ‘concentration camp.’ Those are his own words.”
“And as bad as this all sounds, these are only the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump on Friday night in the middle of a Category 4 hurricane. The sheriff was found guilty of contempt after defying a federal order to cease his department’s serial terrorizing of the Latino community in Maricopa County. However, Arpaio’s legal proceedings had not even entered the sentencing phase before Trump authorized his pardon.
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