Governor Without a Backbone: Doug Ducey Sides With Joe Arpaio, Against Rule Of Law and Arizona’s Latino Community

The sun was setting on Friday, August 25 at the Sandra Day O’Connor courthouse as people embraced one another and cried together. An hour before, President Trump had announced that he was pardoning former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Viridiana Hernandez, Executive Director of Center for Neighborhood Leadership, took the podium at the press conference and said, “Our local leadership, our local people, our supposed allies: there’s no more middle ground. You have to take a side. There’s no negotiation, there’s no compromise and we expect leadership from the city and the state to pick sides.”

Minutes after the press conference ended, Governor Doug Ducey released this statement: “I believe Sheriff Joe deserves credit for helping to reduce crime in Maricopa County. The President clearly has pardoning powers under the United States constitution and with this action he has brought finality to this chapter in Arizona’s history. Sheriff Joe is my friend, and now he, Ava and their family can move on and enjoy retirement together.”

Governor Ducey chose the side of bigotry and racism.

On Monday, August 21, Mi Familia Vota, LUCHA, ProgressNow AZ, and other organizations delivered a letter calling on Governor Ducey to stand up to hate and white supremacy by speaking out against the proposed pardon of Joe Arpaio. Instead of speaking out, Governor Ducey stayed silent. Earlier this week, a poll found that only 21% of Arizona voters were in favor of a pardon for Arpaio.

Despite Arpaio’s criminal conviction and long record of egregious human rights abuses, Ducey considers the man to be a dear friend. This is a man who created an outdoor jail, Tent City, that he compared to a concentration camp. He chained a woman in labor to her jail bed. He arrested and intimidated reporters for their coverage of him. He terrorized the Latino community for years, targeting people for no reason other than the color of their skin. Multiple people died in his jails, and under him, the MCSO failed to investigate hundreds of sex abuse cases, many of which involved children.

Our justice system made the right choice in convicting Joe Arpaio. Our president has made the wrong one in pardoning him and our Governor made the wrong choice in siding with him… Joe Arpaio does not deserve this pardon. He deserves jail time, and Arizona deserves a governor who will defend our communities against men like Arpaio.

In aligning himself with a men like Arpaio and Trump, Ducey has chained himself to a legacy of racism and hate. Rather than stand up to violent racism and white supremacy from the likes of Trump and Arpaio, Governor Ducey praises it. Governor Ducey has a history of standing with bigotry. Sometimes literally, by standing alongside President Trump at one of his many Phoenix events. .

Doug Ducey has gladly and warmly supported Trump since he was the nominee for president. He attended the Republican National Convention and applauded Trump’s nomination. When Trump was in Phoenix on August 22, Doug Ducey warmly greeted him at the airport and after the rally said he was “very supportive” of many parts of Trump’s agenda.

In a July 2016 interview with Local NPR affiliate KJZZ, Ducey said, “When you see one that will quit speaking in the muted, weak, wobbly language of political correctness about what’s going on around the world and now our country and somebody who is for law and order, it makes it very easy to vote for Donald Trump.”

Now, Governor Ducey’s friend President Trump is deliberating whether or not to destroy DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. There are an estimated 28,000 DACA recipients in Arizona. They use the program to work, attend school, and give back to the community they choose to live in. These are dedicated, passionate young people who deserve our support, not attacks. We could hope Governor Ducey would defend these young people making our state better, but his track record proves otherwise. Ducey is a cowardly leader who has shown he will not stand for what is right. Instead, he has chosen to stand with men like Arpaio and Trump firmly on the side of racism and bigotry. Our governor has made his choice. With Ducey up for reelection in just 16 months, it will soon be up to Arizona voters to make ours.

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