Another day, another Trump mistake
Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court in July for refusing to follow a 2011 order from a Judge to cease and desist from using traffic stops that are intentionally targeting Latino drivers. He defied the order and continued on for more than a year and a half.
Arpaio also gained notoriety for detaining hundreds of undocumented Latino immigrants in an outdoor tent city jail and forcing them to wear pink underwear. The facility went on for more than twenty years and was once described by litigation Attorney Michael Manning as "unconstitutionally inhumane and unconstitutionally dangerous.” Arpaio himself referred to it as a "concentration camp."
The White House made the announcement on August 25th around 8 p.m E.T. just when Texas was bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Harvey. The pardon comes on the heels of Trump putting in place a directive that moves his Transgender ban into actual policy.
The timing of these controversial actions was not lost on public figures, Beau Willimon the creator of political drama House Of Cards, tweeted out his disgust and called Trump a "hateful, cowardly menace".
Washington Post reporter Abby D Philip also tweeted out her opinion of the suspect timing of enacting this divisive decisions under the cover of an impending storm.
Trump's Arpaio pardon comes in the middle of a Cat-4 hurricane making landfall on a Friday night: pic.twitter.com/rYNjRQ5iu1— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) August 26, 2017
Celebrities also began reacting with scorn.
Pardon Cosby next. He kept America amused. Then pardon Manson. He wrote some good songs. Then OJ. He got a lot of yards https://t.co/24l6dLPk0q— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 26, 2017
The President is a 71 year-old racist who, during a hurricane, pardoned an 85 year-old racist sheriff who'd been convicted of being racist.— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) August 26, 2017
Today's headline: Trump pardons Arpaio.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 26, 2017
Tomorrow's headline: Pence pardons Trump.
DT, not to be upstaged by an act of God,announces future ban of transgenders from military & pardons Arpaio. DT-a truly hateful human being.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 26, 2017
What else will happen. Are we at war with North Korea yet? https://t.co/PkjXmHtk4I— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 26, 2017
A Disgusting Racist Disgrace. https://t.co/wT2cPrsBeu— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) August 26, 2017
"Make sure we announce pardon after hurricane hits land, but before first casualty. That's the sweet spot." @realDonaldTrump— Mike Scully (@scullymike) August 26, 2017
The pardon was also condemned by high ranking politicians including Republicans.
Presidential pardons should not be rewards for bad behavior and discrimination. Granting a pardon to Joe Arpaio is shameful and appalling.— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) August 26, 2017
The thousands of people terrorized and brutalized by Arpaio's illegal actions deserve justice. No one in America should live in fear.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 26, 2017
Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) August 26, 2017
Ban on transgender patriots eager to serve and defend our nation. Pardon for Sheriff who specialized in tormenting immigrants. Ay Dios mío.— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) August 26, 2017
Makes one wonder what Trump will do next. After all he does not take criticism well, so it's unlikely he'll listen to all this criticism.