The National Association of Black Law
Enforcement Officers, as both a body of professional criminal justice
practitioners and members of the communities we serve, has constantly and consistently
committed itself to the core principals of Community Policing. We firmly
believe that police abuse of authority and misconduct, racial profiling, and
excessive use of force are unacceptable, unprofessional, and abhorrent, and
have no legitimate place or purpose in practice within our profession.
mind that we find the recent Presidential Pardon of former Maricopa County, AZ
Sheriff Joseph Arpaio to be a strong indicator of an acceptance that racial
profiling, discriminatory treatment of community members, defiance of the rules
of law, and unprofessional conduct in general should be standard procedures
adopted by members of law enforcement. That acceptance is in direct contrast to
the principles of Community Policing, and would seem to approve of wholesale
illegal activity on the part of those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution
and the laws that it has emboldened.
Pardon is even more concerning in consideration of the finding by the U.S.
Justice Department that, while serving as Sheriff, Mr.Arpaio caused his agency
to not only engage in a pattern and practice of systematic and widespread
discriminatory practices both in its interactions with the public and the
operation of its correctional facilities, but also used the powers of his
office to harass and intimidate his detractors.
It is our strong and
firm belief that the awarding of this pardon to someone with such a long
history of racially biased actions and policies will adversely impact an
already unsteady relationship between law enforcement and the communities they
serve, causing irreparable harm to the bonds that are needed to keep both the
community, and its law enforcement guardians, safe. It, as well, further
damages the President’s already frail image where it concerns the perception of
his attitudes towards communities of color.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers,
Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization
representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other
criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement,
corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the
communities in which they serve.