Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, co-founders of the website FrontPage Confidential, spoke out ten years after their illegal arrest by Joe Arpaio. The cause for the decade-long ordeal to resurface was the Arpaio’s pardonment by the president Donald Trump.
In 2007, Arpaio, who was then posting as a sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., ordered an arrest of both Larkin and Lacey on the grounds of disclosing grand-jury investigation details. The real cause for the arrest was the sheriff’s grudge against their hometown publications in Phoenix New Times.
Phoenix New Times writers and editors have been covering stories related to Arpaio’s illegal activities. Their publications resulted in sheriff requesting a grand jury subpoena of the paper’s staff and readers. When Phoenix New Times exposed these activities in detail, the illegal arrests followed.
In December 2011, the U.S. District Judge had issued a preliminary injunction against the sheriff. As by judge’s orders, Arpaio was supposed to end his practice of racial profiling.
Since the sheriff proceeded with the same practice during the following 18 months, the district judge Susan Bolton convicted him of criminal contempt. she found that Arpaio hasn’t only proceeded with illegal practices, but also failed to prevent his deputies from acting in a similar manner.
Lacey and Larkin covered controversies that surrounded the sheriff’s office. Some of these included racist incidents, such as racial profiling. The sheriff’s methods resulted in many detainee jail cell deaths and illegal campaigns against Arpaio’s political opponents.
The two journalists took the sheriff to court for his wrongdoings, receiving a $3.75 million settlement from the Maricopa County. As for the fate of Arpaio, it seemed like he suffered consequences for his actions. In November 2016, Arpaio lost the seventh bid for reelection. He lost his title in and got arrested for criminal contempt from the lawsuit of Melendres.
Arpaio, a self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff,” committed many crimes in his so-called fight against illegal immigration in Maricopa County, Ariz. Arpaio blamed illegal immigrants for the majority of social problems, violating civil rights of residents under his jurisdiction along the way. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
Lacey and Larkin followed a court case Mendes vs. Arpaio, which seems to have been a trigger for the corrupt sheriff to take illegal actions against them as well.
In July 2017, Arpaio was convicted and was supposed to face a prison sentence. Although it seemed like Arpaio was about to face jail time for the first time, suffering consequences of his actions, his vocal support towards Donald Trump eventually worked in his favor.
Arpaio, who is now 85, is free of all charges and will never face true consequences for his crimes. In response to a racist campaign that took place during the last decade, the two journalists founded the Frontera Group, an organization dedicated to repairing the damage that sheriff and his officers caused.
Larkin observes the Arpaio’s pardon by Donald Trump as a way of enforcing the nationalists. Though Arpaio’s wrongdoings are great, including publicly saying he finds it flattering being called a Ku Klux Klan Member, Lacey can’t deny his political skills.