President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio Friday, sparing the controversial former Arizona sheriff a spell in jail.
The move has drawn an outcry from civil rights groups, given that Arpaio’s conviction was for defying a court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected immigrants. But others, including the president, have praised Arpaio’s stance on law enforcement and immigration.
The sheriff who branded himself America’s toughest lawman is has long attracted controversy. As news of the pardon breaks, Newsweek reviews five of his biggest scandals.
As newly elected Sheriff of Maricopa County in the early 1990s, Arpaio pushed the construction of open-air jail called ‘Tent City,’ which he claimed was a solution not only to prison overcrowding but to “soft” incarceration policies.
Inmates were made to wear pink underwear and handcuffs, meals were cut down to two a day with salt and pepper removed to cut costs and Arpaio pushed for mugshots of inmates to be posted online.
He also reintroduced the use of chain gangs—including for women and juvenile inmates.
Responding to an audience member in 2009, Arpaio allegedly boasted of the camp’s toughness, comparing it to a Nazi death camp.
“I already have a concentration camp,” during an appearance in 2008 at the Arizona American Italian Club in Phoenix. “It’s called Tent…
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