Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, was finally ousted from the seat after holding it for 24 years. He served between 1992 and 2016. The opposition had given him so much power that he considered himself above the law and would do anything he thought was correct. Unfortunately, Arpaio was a racist who used his opposition to harass and discriminate against immigrants living in Maricopa County.
His tenure as a sheriff was full of crimes that he committed in the pretense of fighting illegal immigration. There were cases of deaths, brutal beatings, sex crimes and others. These are the crime that Arpaio is accused of, but President Trump still found it fit to pardon him. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Larkin and Lacey Fruntera Fund | Crunchbase
In 2007, he was behind the arrest of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin for publishing a story about a grand jury that was illegally constituted to give orders to the sheriff to search the Phoenix New Times- a publication owned by Lacey and Larkin. They were arrested in the middle of the night and jailed in a case of blatant violation of the First Amendment.
Lacey and Larkin were released the following day after public pressure mounted on the county release the two with immediate effect and close the cases before them. They were released in less than 24 hours after their arrest. They later sought justice in court.
Joe Arpaio was taken to court in 2017 and found guilty of ignoring court orders from an earlier court case. He had been ordered by a judge to stop racial-profiling of people living in his county during the arrest. Many innocent people had been arrested by his officers just because they were of Latino origin. He never heeded this order as directed. He continued arresting immigrants indiscriminately and taking them to jail.
After he was found guilty, the judge was t sentence him in October 2017, but this never took place because President Trump pardoned him. The pardon angered Lacey and Larkin who had suffered unlawful arrest in the hands of the sheriff.
Michael Lacey also protested the move taken by the prosecution to charge Arpaio for contempt of court, yet he was criminally liable for a multitude of serious crimes. There was a clear indication that no one was ready to charge Arpaio for the real crimes that deserved to be punished. People were killed under his watch, but the best the prosecution could manage to get was contempt of court charges, a clear indication on non-committal in the cause.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the founders of the Frontera Fund Foundation. This organization protects the rights of immigrants living in Arizona. It works with human and civil rights groups in Arizona to accomplish this mission. They hope to see no other immigrant discriminated as it happened during Arpaio’s tenure.