(JTA) — Jewish groups condemned President Trump’s pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The White House announced the Arpaio’s pardon on Friday night.
Arpaio, 85, was sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona for 24 years, losing a reelection bid in November 2016. He was found guilty in a Justice Department investigation for racially profiling Latinos and convicted on July 31 of criminal contempt for disobeying a federal judge’s order on detaining individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
At the time of the pardon he had not yet been sentenced, but had faced up to six months in jail.
“President Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Arpaio is shameful,” said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris in a statement. “It undermines our judicial system and, ignoring the rule of law, endorses the egregious maltreatment and racial profiling of individuals in our country. Public humiliation of detainees was an Arpaio specialty.”
Arpaio proudly compared his open-air tent city jails for suspected illegal immigrants to concentration camps, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
“President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio defies explanation and flies in the face of American values. We stand today with the Latino community, who have been the primary targets of Arpaio’s bigotry and feel the president’s decision to pardon him particularly acutely,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in a statement.