Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were the first to blow a whistle over the aggressive and illegal methods that Joe Arpaio was using to work in Maricopa County as its Sheriff. The two former Phoenix Times Newspaper journalists were keen on revealing the events that were unfolding within the county and in Arizona State.
They published many damning stories ranging from misappropriation of funds in the Sheriff’s office to the abuse of minority rights. The two journalists were not the only ones who had highlighted the increasing problem of minority treatment by the police. Other media outlets had also expressed similar concerns.
Joe was retired from his role as the Maricopa County Sheriff several years ago. He was issued with a court order but decided to defy it. President Trump recently came to Arpaio’s aid when he was about to be sentenced for the offense. It is that pardon that has infuriated the two defenders of minority and immigrant rights.
A Tough Sheriff, Or Just a Headstrong Bully
It is still a matter of public evaluation to decide where Joe Arpaio falls within the provisions of the American constitution. He was once referred to as the toughest Sheriff. However, events that unfolded, especially involving he and the two former Phoenix Times journalists seemed to disprove the description of merely being tough.
Joe was caught in the act when he tried to fix Larkin and Lacey for exposing the ills that were being done under his charge as the County Sheriff. He was increasingly criticized for overseeing a police brutality culture against immigrants and breaking the laws of the minorities that he arrested without clear cause.
He decided to extend his defiance despite the risk of breaking the law by arresting Larkin and Lacey and throwing them into jail for trumped-up charges. The case was thrown out and the two journalists sued him in turn. He was fined heavily.
He was ordered to pay the two journalists a sum of over $3.7 million. Larkin and Lacey had become increasingly concerned by the turn of events in Arizona. They decided to use the funds from the fine paid by Joe Arpaio to start the Frontera Fund.
The fund is aimed at helping to cushion the immigrants from being abused by the authorities. They offer a range of services including pro-bono representation for minorities and immigrants who cannot afford to pay for legal services to defend their rights.
Joe Shows Defiance
Despite numerous advice from lawyers and even magistrates, Joe Arpaio continued on the same trajectory of trampling on the rights of immigrants.
Judge Murray Snow, a District judge warned the Sheriff against holding suspects in custody on mere suspicion. He informed him that such action was infringing on the rights of the minorities and that it was breaking the constitution. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and https://www.facebook.com/michael.lacey123
Mr. Arpaio never heeded the advice. His Tent City project was exposed in 2011. He was charged with violation of the rights of immigrants and Latinos. It is because of such a train of defiance that Larkin and Lacey are of the view that Joe did not deserve presidential pardon. He was an offender with defiance; just because he associated with the influential people in society.