Just last year Donald Trump made one of the most controversial pardons in the history of the United States Presidency. Obama may have pardoned individuals who were subjugated to out-dated, harsh drug laws, but President Trump has pardoned a man who has been accused of racial profiling, torture and more: he pardoned former-sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Only a year after he was first elected Joe Arpaio created Tent City, an outdoor prison facility in the middle of the Arizona desert. It was here where Joe Arpaio’s multi-decade spree of terror began. Reports indicated that prisoners were beaten and killed during their time at Tent City.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were the owners of Village Voice Media’s publication, the Phoenix New Times. This newspaper did everything it could to expose Joe Arpaio to the public, and Arpaio’s electoral defeat is partially a result of the efforts of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Lacey and Larkin were also the victim’s of Arpaio’s illegal actions as Sheriff of Maricopa County.
Over a decade ago the two journalists were arrest because Joe Arpaio didn’t like their investigative journalism. Arpaio was so angry with the journalists he served them a subpoena that ordered them to reveal the names of their editors, writers, and readers. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Instead of complying with these orders, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin wrote about the subpoena in their newspaper. Joe Arpaio believed he was justly arresting them for exposing the contents of court documents, but he actually violated the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution.
Of course, this isn’t the only instance of Arpaio enacting an illegal arrest. The same year Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested, Arpaio also illegally detained a Mexican citizen who was on vacation in Arizona. This resulted in not only a 70 million dollar lawsuit in but also Arpaio’s conviction. Arpaio was charged and convicted of criminal contempt of court after ignoring orders from a judge to stop the enforcement of immigration law.
Some good has come as the result of Arpaio’s illegal actions though. With the nearly 4 million dollar settlement received by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, The Frontera Fund was born. The Frontera Fund is involved in issues concerning civil rights and donates their time and money to charitable causes that deal with the Latinos of Arizona.
For years, with no one to represent them, Latinos have been subjugated to the wrath of Joe Arpaio; now The Frontera Fund is a voice for the voiceless.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin may not have been able to prevent Donald Trump from pardoning Arpaio, but at least they are able to help the individuals who were victimized by Joe Arpaio for over two decades.
Now that Arpaio is out of office, he is no longer able to commit acts of hatred against Latinos, but the damage he caused still lingers all through-out the state.