Featured in the Ventura County STAR Letter to the editor
By Laura Espinosa, District Director of District 17
“The League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC District 17, supports the public safety community of good men and woman who serve communities across our country. Residents in every corner of the U.S. depend on the courage and accountability of those charged with upholding the laws enacted to protect all victims of crime.
President Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a slap in the face to American values and makes a mockery of our justice system. LULAC CEO Brent Wilkes, national leader of the largest and oldest civil rights organization in the country, stated, “Law enforcement officers are in the ultimate position of trust in this country and must be held accountable when they choose to ignore constitutional protections afforded to all Americans. President Trump’s pardon of Arpaio emboldens racism and condones racial profiling.”
Arpaio has a terrifying record of over two decades of abusing Latinos, ignoring sexual assaults on children, attacks on elected and judicial officials who crossed his path, and 160 deaths in his Arizona jail with millions of public money paid out in lawsuits. All these actions were in mad pursuit of anti-immigrant goals that engulfed his skewed reality.
Court records and U.S. Department of Justice reports show a reign of terror that can’t begin to describe the damage to incarcerated individuals, some who had yet to be tried and convicted. He openly bragged about his tent city “concentration camp”. Yet Trump deemed this pardon the right thing to do without proper vetting or overview by appropriate Justice Department officials.
LULAC District 17 strongly and openly opposes this outrageous action that gives a free pass to a blatant racist and violator of court orders and sends the wrong message to other law enforcement organizations and community members who depend on public safety for protection against criminals like Joe Arpaio.”