A recent article featured on phoenixnewtimes.com, 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” is discussing the life and crimes of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his standoff with Phoenix New Times creators Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Recently, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton publicly and formally validated the pardon issued for Arpaio by President Donald Trump.
While many were shocked at Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio, Lacey explains that he could see it coming. While Lacey doesn’t want to give “America’s Worst Sheriff” credit for anything, he is a political animal and he knows how to protect himself.
Lacey thinks that Arpaio foresaw his slow fall from grace and threw his support behind Trump for president to create a powerful ally. When Trump issued a pardon for the former sheriff, it seemed that move paid off.
Joe Arpaio had been facing contempt of court charges for not adhering to the terms of an earlier mandate issued after Melendres V. Arpaio. In that case, Arpaio had been accused of using blatant racism and stereotyping to harass citizens that he believed looked like illegal immigrants. This caused quite a stir in the Maricopa County Police Department.
The ruling judge in the Melendres case ordered that Arpaio change his policies and report to a court monitor for a certain length of time, something Arpaio failed to do. The contempt charges came soon after it became apparent that Arpaio was not abiding by the terms of the agreement.
Larkin and Lacey, themselves, have dealt with quite a bit from the former sheriff. While in office, he gave the Phoenix New Times plenty of information to work with. His tent cities put him on the map as a cruel and unusual sheriff. While Arpaio enjoyed a comfortable life, the people in his tent city prisons were exposed to the elements and forced to eat the very minimum that Arpaio could provide.
Arpaio called it a solution to poison overcrowding, but many others would call it, at the very least, an act of inhumanity. In addition to this behavior, Arpaio reallocated prison funds for personal reasons and left important crimes uninvestigated. His entire tenure was fodder for Larkin and Lacey.
After an incident where Larkin and Lacey were arrested by Arpaio’s department for publishing details of a summons they had received from his office, the journalist sued the department. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook
They won and received a 3.75-million-dollar settlement from the county. Instead of using this money for anything personally, the men instead decided that the money would do better to serve the immigrant population located in Arizona.
This group of people had long-suffered the wrath of Joe Arpaio and Larkin and Lacey wanted to do something to support them. Together, they founded the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund, geared toward helping to build programs and resources for migrants. In the face of a pardon for Arpaio, Lacey and Larkin are showing that there is still good left in the world.