WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump has pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio following his conviction for intentionally disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.
The chair of La Raza Roundtable in San Jose said he was saddened President Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.
Victor Garza said, "If he had been me, I would have been behind bars a long time ago."
Arpaio was convicted of disobeying a judge's order by continuing immigration patrols that involved racial profiling.
President Trump tweeted:
"I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe."
Arpaio also tweeted, writing:
"Thank you Donald Trump for seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama Justice Department."
In a radio interview with ABC News, Arpaio said he was not guilty. He also said, "I appreciate the President's pardon. I'm very humbled that he did that. He loves law enforcement. I was with him from day 1 two years ago in Phoenix at the first rally. I've always said, pardon or no pardon, I will stick with him as long as he's the president."
The pardon did not come as a surprise.
President Trump hinted at his decision at a speech in Phoenix earlier this week saying, "I'll make a prediction, I think he's going to be just fine, okay?"
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón-- a former police chief in Mesa, Arizona-- said he fought Arpaio's tactics in the Latino community.
Gascon said in a statement, "By granting this pardon the President of these United States has emboldened white nationalists and made a mockery of the rule of law."
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