For Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the actions of president Donald Trump pardoning sheriff Joe Arpaio were not only selfish but actions meant to subvert justice. The two who are the former owners of the Phoenix New Times can from memory recite some of the injustices perpetrated by the sheriff, a man who had little regard for those who opposed him and the law at large.
The pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio will always remain a contentious issue as for most it was not based on merit but a show of might and bravado from two men who shared a similar ideology and were lucky enough to ascend to power.
They then corrupted this power to fit their style of doing things. The sheriff has for long been known for his unusual style of doing things and his tough on immigration stance had rubbed many the wrong ways. For the six terms that he was sheriff in Maricopa Arizona, he had turned his department into one built on racial profiling and targeting of members of the Hispanic community.
It thus came as no surprise that such a man would endorse and support Donald Trump. His choice of Trump has however turned out fine for him as it would see him granted a presidential pardon the first awarded by Trump since his election.
The pardon was handed to the sheriff weeks before he was due for sentencing. The sheriff had been found guilty of ignoring federal court orders that stemmed from another lawsuit against him that had found him and his entire department guilty of racial profiling. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/ and https://twitter.com/JimLarkin_
The court would then direct the sheriff while being overseen by a monitor, implement some changes that would help the department emerge from this shocking culture. The sheriff would, however, ignore these orders and was swiftly taken back to court. The judge would eventually find Arpaio guilty of this too, and just before the sentencing, President Trump intervened.
The pardon, in essence, stops the court from instilling any form of punishment stemming from this lawsuit. The sheriff may have been liable for up to six months in jail as stipulated in the law, but most had already doubted the probability of this happening. It was thus not just wrong for this to happen but for Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, it was personal as for every new encounter with the sheriff always ended worse than the last.
The sheriff had initially banned the members of their publication from covering any of his press briefings. This would escalate further as the two kept working on stories that showed what the department was doing. This reporting would always seem to put the two at loggerheads as the sheriff did not like the reports that were being published about him.
The arrest of Jim and Michael would, however, serve as the last straw and this would see the department ordered to pay 3.75 million for their actions. This money would be used to fund the Lacey and Larkin Frontera fund.