The White House announced on Friday that it was pardoning longtime Trump supporter and former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona lawman known for profiling Latinos. Arpaio once bragged that he ran his open-air tent city jail like a "concentration camp." Arpaio was first elected in 1992 and voted out of office in November after years of civil rights complaints and corruption allegations. In July, a federal judge found Arpaio guilty of contempt of court for defying an order to to stop his deputies from detaining people based on their perceived immigration status. He faced up to six months in prison at his sentencing, originally set for October 5. While pardons are usually granted to those facing felony charges, Arpaio was convicted of a misdemeanor and had not submitted an application for pardon. In a two-paragraph statement, the White House said Arpaio gave "years of admirable service to our nation." The Phoenix-based immigrant rights group Puente said Arpaio’s pardon sent a clear message that it’s “OK to break the law as long as it’s to further a white supremacist agenda.”
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