Larkin and Lacey never relented on sensitizing the society regarding the ills that were being meted out against minorities and immigrants in Arizona. They also revealed details of embezzlement of funds within the County Sherrif’s office. They ran editorials in the Phoenix Times where Michael Lacey worked as the Chief Editor while Jim Larkin was the Chief Executive officer.
Joe became impatient and decided to curtail the freedoms that the two journalists enjoyed. Arpaio had persistently become defiant and aggressive since he was inaugurated in 1992.
He had already done major damages as far as the rights of women and other inmates were concerned but he never cared much about the violations because he thought he had become the law. The violations were also highlighted by various human rights-watch groups but Arpaio could not hear of it.
Since he had become the County Sheriff, he had been warned several times against his overzealous and aggressive tactics when handling the minorities that he arrested. He was even warned by a District Judge, Murray Snow, and informed that he was overstepping his powers, arresting immigrants on mere suspicion.
The judge made it clear to Joe that doing so was in violation of the constitution. Arpaio maintained his defiance and never stopped his aggression especially when immigrants were involved. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were among the frontline defenders of the rights of the immigrants and other minorities.
They never spared their ink to write about the ills that Joe had perpetrated. He became increasingly wary and decided to teach the duo a lesson. He sent his county police to arrest the journalists in a case that turned out to be his bane. The duo was released after spending over three weeks in prison. They counter-sued Arpaio.
Arpaio was engaged by the authorities to observe utmost care in his dealings but he remained adamant. The issues eventually came to the surface when he was charged with violating the rights of immigrants and minorities in 2011. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/
Joe continued encouraging the county officials that worked under him to disregard advice and proceed with the racial profiling tendencies. It is the public outcry that led to the increased media coverage of the incidents of discrimination and human rights abuses. Joe Arpaio is widely perceived to have oppressed the Latino community while he was still the County Sheriff.
Trump and the Fault that Larkin and Lacey Find
After the court settlement, Joe Arpaio was left vulnerable. He started his downward spiral by losing his bid for election for the 7th time. Much later, in 2017, he was charged and later convicted of defying a court order in the famous Melendres case. He was bailed out by his old time friend who happened to have won the latest Presidential race, President Donald Trump.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have criticized the President’s decision because Arpaio was, clearly, a persistent offender with a headstrong attitude. The two consider extending presidential pardon to Arpaio as a slap in the face of the Latino community in the US and insensitiveness by the US president to the plight of minorities.