Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were one of the hundreds of people who say they were illegally arrested by Joe Arpaio. Most of Arpaio’s victims were Latinos and Hispanic-Americans. What makes Larkin and Lacey’s incident so different is that they are two elderly white men who owned their own local business.
Lacey and Larkin were the co-owners of The Phoenix New Times at the time of their arrest. Some of their journalists, under presumed orders from Lacey and Larkin, had been investigating Arpaio and his questionable actions as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Eventually, Arpaio had had enough, he sent his deputies in unmarked SUVs to pull Lacey and Larkin out of their homes.
The two were separated and taken to different jails, both under operation of the then time Sheriff Arpaio.
It wasn’t long until people all over the country were reading about their arrests in national publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Readers were furious, their outrage convinced Maricopa County’s county attorney, Andrew Thomas, to call a press conference to announce that the journalist are going free.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sued the county on grounds that their first amendment rights had been violated and the duo went on to take home a 3.75 million dollar settlement.
When it comes to the crimes of Arpaio, cases like the journalist’s is minor league. Arpaio has been accused by many as being responsible for the beatings and torture of inmates in his facilities. Reports from CNN in 2011 suggest that one time a pregnant woman in his care was chained to a bed.
Only a year after he was elected, his most immoral construct came to life. In 1993, he created Tent City with the supposed intent to combat prison over-population. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
In reality, Arpaio operated it like a Nazi concentration camp. Reports of inmates being beaten and tortured circulated in publication for the 20 plus years it was allowed to be operated. Finally, in 2017, Tent City was closed down. Arizona began to put Sheriff Joe Arpaio behind them.
2017 was also the year it looked like charges were finally going to stick to Joe Arpaio. In the Summer of 2017, Joe Arpaio was found guilty of contempt of court and was all set to face sentencing.
That’s when Donald Trump, under presumptions that he could make his fanbase happy, pardoned Joe Arpaio. The victims of Arpaio had been taken for a an emotional roller coaster and now would not see justice served. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey and https://michael-lacey.com/
“At the end of the day,” Michael Lacey began, “that sort of racist, brutal, cracker philosophy appealed to enough voters.” he said as he explained the reason he believes Trump gave the pardon. “Trump thinks there’s some political traction to be had by pardoning the guy.”
With Trump’s approval ratings so low, Lacey believes he is trying to please the thirty percent that are still on his side.