Donald Trump slammed for pardoning controversial former sheriff Joe Arpaio

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Arpaio was facing six months in prison, starting October 5, after he was convicted in July for violating a federal court order prohibiting racial profiling of Latinos.

Such reactions to Trump's pardon reflect the enduring outrage over Arpaio's actions as the longtime sheriff of Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix.

"After 25 years of admirable service, Arpaio went on to lead the DEA's branch in Arizona", the White House released Friday.

But despite his long tenure as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio lost the support of his constituents previous year, defeated by Democrat Paul Penzone in the elected position. The NAACP, the nation's oldest and largest civil right groups, said Trump should be using his pardon power for people who, unlike Arpaio, are "apologetic for their crimes". This would have involved an FBI background investigation on Arpaio and could have taken months or even years.

"I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration", Arpaio said when he endorsed Trump.

He had gained notoriety for backing Mr Trump's "birther" campaign and for his massive roundups of suspected illegal immigrants.

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Around 8 p.m. ET, the White House announced that Trump granted a presidential pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

It is unlikely Arpaio - the once self-described "Toughest Sheriff in America" - will face the legal consequences of his actions because of another exercise in individual authority trumping our nation's separation of powers doctrine.

"This is where liberals should picture, in place of Arpaio, someone pursuing a cause that liberals sympathize with vs a hostile judge", he said, pointing to two examples: Jefferson pardons for violators of the Alien & Sedition Acts, and Carter for Vietnam draft dodgers. "But Sheriff Joe can feel good". "His pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism".

Arpaio thanked Trump in a series of tweets, calling his conviction a "political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department!"

Arpaio was convicted on July 31 of criminal contempt for disobeying a federal judge's order to halt an initiative he started to crackdown on illegal immigrants in his jurisdiction. "The pardon was a sign of pure contempt for every American who believes in justice, human dignity and the rule of law". "At this point, I don't expect anything positive out of Donald Trump", Navarro admitted.

As Maricopa County's sheriff, Arpaio quickly became infamous for his unorthodox policies, including making inmates wearing pink underwear ("Why give them a color they like", he once said.), and live in outdoor "tent cities" despite scorching heat.

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