In pardoning Arpaio, Trump sends a dangerous message to unscrupulous cops: No need to obey a judge’s order

on Aug29

To the editor: I read with dismay, but not surprise, that President Trump had pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. (“Trump sends message with Arpaio pardon: The federal government expects local help enforcing immigration laws,” Aug. 26)

Not only does the pardon send the wrong message about immigration enforcement, but it is yet another slap in the face to the federal judiciary by this president. Recall Arpaio’s history of blatantly discriminatory arrest and detention practices, culminating in his being ordered by a federal judge to cease and desist such conduct. His conviction was for disregarding and routinely violating the order.

Trump’s pardon says Arpaio was “continuing his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration” — work that the federal judge found unlawfully discriminatory.

By pardoning the former sheriff, Trump is saying there is no need to obey a federal judge’s orders if this president disagrees with them. This is a serious erosion of the authority of the federal judiciary and a dangerous precedent.

Jim Stiven, Cardiff, Calif.

The writer is a retired federal magistrate judge for the Southern District of California.


To the editor: Arpaio was not convicted for “doing his job” in the conventional sense of that term. He was convicted for refusing to obey a court order to discontinue his patently racist and unconstitutional practice of racial profiling and illegal arrests.

Arpaio abused and humiliated prisoners in what he himself described as a “concentration camp.” For Trump, that illegal behavior was Arpaio’s job.

Trump’s contempt for the law must be checked by his immediate removal from office. But the Republicans, who control the White House and both houses of Congress, refuse to end this shredding of our Constitution and the expanding hate and violence this unleashes to preserve their longed-for legislative agenda.

Since Republicans have so far refused to act in the national interest to remove Trump, we must use nonviolent means to convince them to do so.

Ken Levy, Los Angeles


To the editor: The most consistent aspect of Trump is his contempt for decency, the latest example of which is his pardoning of Arpaio. It’s not a surprise that Trump should be drawn to support Arpaio, who repeatedly abused his power and violated the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. To Trump, Arpaio is a hero.

The level of nausea and disgust that Trump keeps generating seems to have no limit. (Recall allegations that he hung around the dressing room watching beauty contestants change for the contest, his boasting of fondling women and his promotion of the racist lie that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen.)

Whether this rises to the level of an impeachable offense, I’ll leave that for the lawyers. But I can say confidently that Trump is repulsive.

Alan Rachins, Los Angeles


To the editor: Arpaio deserved not only a pardon but a Medal of Freedom for his courageous efforts to protect his constituents from illegal immigrants despite the efforts of the criminal alien lobby to demonize him.

Kemp Richardson, Santa Clarita


To the editor: How does U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions feel about this pardon?

On another issue, he feels it is perfectly fine to go after people who use marijuana, as they violate federal law by doing so. Isn’t racial discrimination by law enforcement officers also against the law?

Arpaio was convicted in a federal court of law. If he can be pardoned, why can’t we pardon anyone convicted for a marijuana offense?

Roberta Goodfried, Valley Village


To the editor: There isn’t much that I would agree on with David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, but I would have to agree with him that the people who share his worldview were important in getting Trump elected.

In pardoning Arpaio, Trump acknowledges and partially pays the debt that he owes for that support.

Ron Stearns, Westminster

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