Madison, Wisconsin – “The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault condemns the president’s misguided pardon of Joe Arpaio, the disgraced former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona,” stated Pennie Meyers, WCASA executive director. “WCASA thanks Arizona’s U.S. senators and House Speaker Ryan for opposing this pardon,” stated Meyers. “On the heels of the violent extremism in Charlottesville, Arpaio’s pardon serves only to further embolden the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and misogynist sectors of our country,” stated Meyers.
In a case brought by Latinx residents, a court convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt for violating an earlier court ruling. That ruling required Arpaio’s department to end its illegal and discriminatory racial profiling of the Latinx community.
In addition to the extreme profiling, reports indicate Arpaio ignored hundreds of sexual assault cases, many of which involved children of undocumented immigrants. In addition to other misdeeds, Arpaio created brutal jail conditions for immigration detainees in his infamous Tent City, and undermined the health of those detainees.
“The president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio is another reminder of why WCASA centers women of color, including Latinx women, in our work to end sexual violence. To end sexual violence, we must first end all forms of oppression,” stated Meyers. See WCASA’s Anti-Oppression Framework here for more information.
About WCASA: The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA, www.wcasa.org) is a membership agency comprised of organizations and individuals working to end sexual violence in Wisconsin. Among these are the 56 assault service provider agencies throughout the state that offer support, advocacy and information to survivors of sexual assault and their families. WCASA works to ensure that every survivor in Wisconsin gets the support and care they need. WCASA also works to create the social change necessary to ensure a future where no child, woman or man is ever sexually violated again.