John Oliver returned to television last night with a new episode of Last Week Tonight, and the focus of his new story was Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Oliver started off strong, saying that Arpaio finally answered the question, “What if a decaying, rotted potato somehow hated Mexicans?”
He went on to list many of Arpaio’s civil rights violations, including his abhorrent treatment of prisoners and his department’s racial profiling of Latinx people. Oliver focused on Arpaio bragging over being the first to put women on chain gangs, Arpaio promoting two officers who allowed an inmate to die and then expressed indifference when it occurred, and his department’s broadcasting of female inmates in the prison bathrooms.
Arpaio was eventually convicted for not complying with state laws forbidding racial profiling related to illegal immigration. Trump, of course, sees racial profiling as law enforcement’s job, and pardoned Arpaio for doing that job. Oliver ended his segment with a condemnation of the pardon, and a grave warning for the future: “Trump giving him a pass … is a loud confirmation that at least as far as this White House is concerned, for the next few years law enforcement won’t necessarily be expected to do their jobs the way the Constitution or the courts say they should.”
Watch Oliver’s story above.