The pardon issued to Joe Arpaio could not have been in good taste according to Jim Larkin and Micheal Lacey. The timing was wrong, and for them, the pardon was not based on merit but loyalty to the wrong thing. Sheriff Joe Arpaio was pardoned by president Trump after he was found guilty of defying court orders by Judge Susan Bolton.
The case had been long-running and had stemmed from a previous case which had found the sheriff guilty of racial profiling. The lawsuit that apart from validating rampant speculation on how the sheriff had turned his department from a law enforcement unit to a place for harassment and intimidation of Hispanic’s. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
In the previous case, i.e., Melendres v. Arpaio a class-action suit that had been brought in 2007 against the sheriff and in a three-week trial had found the sheriff indeed guilty of unlawful traffic stops and racial profiling of Latinos. The case would then see Judge G snow recommend a raft of measures in October 2013 that would enable the department to redeem itself and ensure that this harassment was stopped immediately.
These recommendations would include mandatory video and audio recordings of traffic stops as well as increased training of all the officers from the sheriff’s department on racial relations. The appointment of a monitor by the court would futher prove the seriousness of the matter. It was therefore shocking when the sheriff and his senior officers were found guilty of violating this court orders in may 2016.
This would mark the beginning of some events that would see the sheriff’s career spiral downwards very fast. After the guilty verdict, it was now left to the discretion of the court to sentence all those found culpable. The sentencing was to be on a separate date and before this could happen sheriff Arpaio would receive a pardon from the president. Judge Bolton validated the contents of this pardon, and with that, it was clear that the sheriff would walk away scot free.
Jim and Micheal had over their careers been able to document a lot of human rights violations by the sheriff. This was one of the main reasons why they did not agree with the pardon as it seemed to validate the actions of the sheriff all along, Despite the sheriff being voted out of office in the previous election, it was still not the right thing.
Jim Larkin and Micheal Lacey had also had their personal run-in with the sheriff when he arrested them for publishing the contents of a subpoena that had been issued by his county attorney. The subpoena meant to request for private information regarding editors, writers, owners, and readers of the Phoneix new times.
This was a violation of the first amendment right a fact that the sheriff’s office knew but choose to ignore. The arrest of the two would place so much heat on the sheriff that he was forced to release the two without charging them. This would become the basis of there lawsuit against the sheriff that would result in a 3.7 million settlement.