The mayor of Phoenix is not happy with President Donald Trump’s plans to visit his city next week and host a rally there, especially so soon after the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
In a statement released Wednesday night, Mayor Greg Stanton said he is “disappointed” that Trump chose to hold a campaign rally “as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville.”
He added that if Trump is going to Phoenix to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation.”
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt at the end of July for ignoring a judge’s order to stop detaining people for suspecting they were illegal immigrants.
“It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays the visit,” he wrote.
Trump announced his plans on Twitter Wednesday to host a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on Aug. 22.
Stanton said that because the convention center is a public venue, available for anyone to rent, the city must respect and protect the rights of those who “we disagree with or those who don’t represent the values we hold dear as a community.”
“In preparation for this event, my focus and that of the Phoenix Police Department is on keeping everyone — those attending the rally, those expressing their First Amendment rights outside and the general public — safe.”