The infamous sheriff of Maricopa County has one or another reason to hit the headlines of the newspapers. Joe Arpaio recently hit the news headlines when he got the Presidential pardon though everyone expected a prison term for him.
Especially people who have experienced torture and racial profiling by him were eagerly waiting to see him behind bars.
It is not just the migrants, or the disadvantaged sections of the society experienced his brutality, but Arpaio was targeting everyone who was criticizing him including his political opponents as well. Even prominent news reporters were not spared by him. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
It was very clear when he arrested Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey for reporting a grand-jury investigation which sheriff warned them not to report. It was in 2007, both the journalists were taken by Selective Enforcement Unit of the county and handcuffed under the instruction of Joe Arpaio.
On those days, Lacey was serving as the executive editor of the news media group, Village Voice Media, and Larkin was the Chief Executive Officer of the group. Just before their arrest, they published the details of the grand-jury probe in Phoenix New Times, a newspaper from the group.
It is later identified that more than just an arrest based on the incident, Sheriff Arpaio was targeting the newsgroup as Phoenix New Times was continuously targeting Joe for his misdeeds and exposing the misdeeds done by his departments for long.
Recently, Larkin and Lacey explained the incidents that led to arrest of the journalists as well as the downfall of the sheriff.
They remember that the sheriff was notorious for a number of heinous acts including handcuffing the pregnant women to the beds even while they are going through the delivery process, extrajudicial campaigns against political foes and critics, and numerous death stories of detainees in his prisons due to intense torture.
The most highlighted vendettas were against Lacey and Larkin as well as abuse to the Latinos living in Maricopa County. The later became the reason for his downfall as it became the well-known Melendres v. Arpaio lawsuit.
While coming to the arrests of the journalists, it created immediate furor across the country as it was considered as a breach to the First Amendment rights of the journalist duo and Arpaio was forced to release both within 24 hours. Additionally, another court order, after five years, made the county liable to pay $3.7 to the journalists as compensation.
Lacey and Larkin decided to use the amount for a noble cause than for any individual needs. With that thought in mind, they established a nonprofit activist group called Frontera Fund.
The initiative plays an excellent role in addressing the migrant issues in the state of Arizona with campaigning, news coverage, help groups, financial assistance, legal assistance, and more.
While coming to Sheriff Arpaio, he could not get the mandate in November 2016, for the seventh time, considering the scandals and investigation pending against him. In the early July 2017, he caught with contempt of court on Melendres suit, which ultimately led to the Presidential pardon.