Joe Arpaio was the Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona for 24 years. He lost the seat in 2017 while trying to win for the 7th time. With his defeat came hopes for many people that Arpaio would finally face the courts for all the crimes he exercised while he was the sheriff. However, all these hopes went down the drain after President Trump offered Arpaio presidential pardon.
This came after Trump was elected the president in an election where Joe Arpaio aggressively campaigned for him. It looked like a reward to a friend after Arpaio’s role in publicizing the agenda promoted by Donald Trump especially on the matter of birth certificate belonging to President Trump.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are journalist and founders of the Phoenix New Times. These two were the people behind the publication of news regarding all the crimes that Joe Arpaio was committing. Suing their paper, they exposed the secret jails he was running as well as the torture that immigrants were being subjected to in the jails.
Joe Arpaio was against immigration of the people into the United States, and he used his position as a leader to subject the undocumented immigrants to torture. Lacey and Larkin followed up on stories from immigrants on the atrocities that Joe Arpaio committed on them and documented them. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
The efforts by Lacey and Larkin to spread news about the horrible state of human rights in the state of Arizona were met by crude force from the former sheriff who ordered for their arrest. In the middle of the night in October 2017, the two were arrested by people sent by the sheriff and drove them to one of the concentration camps established by Arpaio.
They were arrested for publishing details about a subpoena that the sheriff had obtained from a grand jury that gave him the right to search for the media outlet owned by Lacey and Larkin known as Phoenix New Times.
Lacey and Larkin were exercising their First Amendment, but the former sheriff would have none of that. He used his powers to humiliate and torture them for what was a clear case of subversion of justice.
Joe Arpaio was revenging for the actions that the two had taken against the former sheriff. They had used their paper to publish information on all the wrong doings that the former sheriff had made while dealing with the cases of illegal immigration in his county. He went beyond humane means to kick out immigrants out of the country.
In a court case that followed the arrest, the state was ordered to pay Lacey and Larkin $3.75 million. In order to support the human rights protection cause, they set up a foundation known as Frontera Fund which is currently supporting human rights organization in Arizona to push their agenda.
So far, there are numerous groups of people who have been supported by this organization. The commitment to support this cause comes even after President Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio.