President Trump issues his first presidential pardon to a tough Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County. Arpaio is known for being notorious, and one of his wrongful acts was imprisonment of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, owners of Village Voice. Michael Lacey was the executive editor and Jim Larkin of the CEO.
About ten years back, the Village Voice Media made a publication on the probe of a grand jury not knowing the same jury was investigating them.
The same day of the publication, the two were arrested from their homes by the agents of Maricopa County Enforcement Unit for disclosing details of the grand jury investigation.
Since his inauguration in 1992, Joe Arpaio had hostile law enforcement means especially towards immigrants. He was told by Murray Snow, US District Judge, that he cannot detain immigrants on the basis of suspicion.
All this were discussed behind closed doors until 2011 when a lawsuit was filed exposing the conditions inmates faced in Tent City. Arpaio was defiant of the charges of violating the rights of immigrants and continued with his acts until the reporters heard people’s outcry of his abuse of power.
First, only Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin wrote about Arpaio exposing him to the public, and this led to their arrest. Later on, other newspapers joined in and wrote articles based on Lacey and Larkin’s work and got to national coverage. The two were then released and filed a suit exposing more of Arpaio’s corruption and malpractices that was settled for $3.7million.
After the settlement, Arpaio wasn’t in a good place, he didn’t win re-election as the sheriff for the seventh term, and in July 2017 during the Melendres suit, he was charged with contempt in court. His political experience is what made him get good grace in Trump’s administration.
At an early stage of Trump’s campaign, Arpaio had endorsed him speaking up for him to the point that Trump said in one of his campaign speeches that he was going to pardon him. The reason for the pardon being unknown, Lacey believes it was a campaign strategy to appeal to people viewing Arpaio as a hero. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
The Latino community was being undermined during Arpaio’s time, and the police were not of any help as they were his mouthpiece. His supporters saw him as the leader who would do away with illegal immigrants. There was a battle for both the victims and the opposition of Arpaio’s policies. Regional and national human rights movement began to form and swore to protect the Latino community.
Lacey and Larkin used their settlement cash to form the Frontera Fund, one of the largest organizations helping Latinos and other society members protect their first amendment rule.
Despite Trump’s pardon for Arpaio, there are more people who now know of his misdeeds, more movements being created and it’s certain that Arpaio’s agenda will be permanently controlled.