Trump's first pardon spares political ally Joe Arpaio

US President Donald Trump has spared former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio the prospect of serving jail time as he granted the first pardon of his turbulent tenure.

Mr Trump's move also wiped out Mr Arpaio's recent federal conviction stemming from his immigration patrols that focused on Latinos.

The White House said Mr Arpaio, 85, was a "worthy candidate" for the pardon, citing his "life's work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration".

Mr Trump granted the pardon less than a month after a judge found Mr Arpaio guilty of a charge of contempt of court.

The pardon drew a swift and harsh denunciation from an array of Latinos and political leaders, who said it amounted to presidential approval of racism.

AP

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