Recently, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was crowned some kind of racist folk hero, keeper of the Barack Obama Birther theory and all-around example of an abusive cop. So of course, our president thought him a man deserving of a pardon.
Whether you believe Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio because he wanted to divert attention from the umpteenth staff member who
was stabbed in the back quit or because he really believes that Sheriff Cotton-Eyed Joe (my nickname, because redneck) speaks to his “base” (base paint is white, right?), Arpaio represents that type of bigot who will not be restrained by decency, humanity or the law.
But the Phoenix New Times has receipts. Lots of them. The alt-weekly, which should win a prize for staying on top of this maniac’s exploits, has been covering the embattled sheriff for more than 20 years and laid out a “couple of things you should know about him,” and it is even worse than you thought:
- He ran a jail he described as a “concentration camp.”
- Prisoners in his jails died frequently, often without explanation.
- An inmate who was paraplegic and asked for a catheter almost had his neck broken by one of his jailers.
- He botched hundreds of sex-crime cases of underage girls—oh, and ... one of his “sheriff’s posse” was indicted for child pornography.
- He marched only Latinx prisoners into a segregated area with electric fencing.
- A black woman horrifically lost her baby in his jail.
- A prisoner baked to death in his cell at a temperature of 109 degrees.
- He sent a deputy to Hawaii to “look for Barack Obama’s birth certificate.”
- He was ordered to pay the Phoenix New Times co-founders $3.75 million dollars for false arrests.
- His people killed a puppy in a botched SWAT raid.
There’s more, unfortunately, including investigating the judge who found him in contempt of court, trying to destroy evidence in said investigation and spending millions in taxpayer funds to settle lawsuits during his reign.
For this and so much more, Trump deemed this man who, for all intents and purposes, seems a lot like him (racist, clueless, bad at his job, dangerous) “worthy” of a pardon. I can think of a million other things that he’s worthy of.
Read more at the Phoenix New Times.