An article posted on Phenioxnewtimes.com by Stephen Lemons discusses the recent outrage centered around the pardon of Joe Arpaio. The article, entitled “The Enduring Sins of Joe Arpaio: Newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Speak Out in Response to Donald Trump’s Pardon of America’s Worst Sheriff” discusses the most recent development in the long-running saga of Arpaio.
Currently, the outrage is centered around U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s formal validation of President Donald Trump’s pardon of Arpaio. While this was not a something that generally surprised the public, it is one step in a long line of political and vocational wins for Arpaio.
Arpaio was originally convicted for ignoring a federal order to reform his department after Melendres V. Arpaio, a well known racial profiling class action lawsuit resulting in monetary damages of up to $70 million dollars.
Arpaio was found to have not complied with the mandates of the order and was in contempt of court. President Trump pardoned Arpaio before he was due for sentencing. This move angered many people nationally, as they felt as though Arpaio got away with the crime completely.
Two people that have been valiantly crusading against Arpaio, after their own run-in with him, are Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Larkin and Lacey are the co-founders of the Phoenix New Times and several other like-minded publications coast to coast. From the beginning of Arpaio’s reign, their paper has been instrumental in uncovering the corruption pervasive in the Maricopa County Police Department. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
Over his 24-year tenure, Arpaio was not only guilty of racial profiling, but also of unsafe jailing conditions, illegal diversion of jail funds, and mishandling of significant crimes through, sometimes, nonexistent investigation. The constant coverage by the Phoenix New Times created tensions within the department that eventually culminated in the arrest of Larkin and Lacey on October 18th, 2007. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phillypurge.com/2017/06/23/jim-larkin-michael-lacey-make-the-list-of-civil-rights-protectors/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/
Larkin and Lacey had been served in their own words with an “unconstitutionally overbroad subpoena” for allegedly publishing Arpaio’s address in their online newspaper publication while discussing alleged corruption on Arpaio’s part. The sheriff owned a plot of land valued at over $700,000 with only a $78,000 salary and writers at the newspaper found this to be very strange.
After receiving the subpoena, Larkin and Lacey laid out the contents for all to see. This resulted in their immediate arrest by the Maricopa County Police Department. After a large public outcry, the district attorney found their jailing to be unjust and set them free. Larkin and Lacey sued the county and received 3.75 million in damages.
Today, Larkin and Lacey have diverted that money into the Lacey and Larkin Frontera fund. This fund is aimed directly at helping the part of the population targeted by Arpaio the most, the migrants and immigrants of Arizona.
They hope with this fund to continue to support and build programs for immigrants into the future. With Arpaio receiving this pardon, it is just more proof that work like Larkin and Lacey’s is an important catalyst for bringing everyone closer together.