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AEA Statement on Presidential Pardon of Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Arizona Education Association (AEA) stands in solidarity with our Latino community in continuing to condemn former sheriff Joe Arpaio's actions which were grounded in racism.

President Donald Trump’s pardon of Arpaio is an endorsement of racism and bigotry. AEA President Joe Thomas says, “Our Latino students will see the president’s pardon of Arpaio as tacit permission to racially profile them and their families.”

Arpaio's own words and statements led to his conviction. He openly admitted to defying previous court orders to cease racially profiling Latinos.

The president’s pardon only extends to Arpaio's conviction of guilt in US District Court. It does not nullify the $70 million Maricopa County residents must pay for the cost of the court case.

It will not repay Maricopa County residents the more than $50 million in settlements and related court costs associated with Arpaio's abuse of power. 

The pardon will not bring justice to the 400 victims of sexual assault—many of them children—who then sheriff Joe Arpaio neglected to investigate.

AEA President Joe Thomas, who taught U.S. Government in Mesa Public Schools for 17 years, says, “The president's action betrays educators’ efforts to teach trust in our government institutions. It will only serve as a lesson for future students in understanding abuse of power and political payoffs. This pardon is an affront not only to Arizona’s Latino community, but all who value the rule of law."

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