America’s Toughest Sheriff Brought Down

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, labeled as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” had both Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin arrested ten years ago for allegedly disclosing facts about a grand-jury investigation.

The day of their arrest, Lacey and Larkin published a story in the Phoenix New Times regarding the grand-jury probe. Arpaio set these men up because of their constant coverage of his shameful crimes that culminated back to his 1992 election to office.

The incident is a literal recap of Arpaio’s actions while in office, from his notorious Tent City to the number of people who died in his jail cells in addition to the shackling of pregnant moms to their beds during deliveries and many other extralegal actions he ordered his deputies to perform.

His most significant crusade was against the two newspapermen because of his adamant dislike regarding issues of the Latinos and their rights throughout his jurisdiction.

The shocking arrest of Lacey and Larkin was clearly in violation of their First Amendment rights. The 1st Amendment states that there is no law against the freedom of speech or the press. Within five years, the careers of both men ended when paid a 3.75 million dollar settlement by the Maricopa County for the wrongful arrests. Lacey and Larkin used the money for the Frontera Fund, which is a nonprofit organization to support the rights of immigrants and migrants.

Jim Larkin is native to Phoenix, Arizona and studied at the Arizona State University. He dropped out in 1972 when he met up with Michael Lacey to work on the Phoenix New Times. The publication was a culmination of student antiwar protests. Michael Lacey Lived in Newark, N.J. until he moved west in the late 1960s, at which time he also attended the Arizona State University, dropping out in 1970.

Lacey published the Phoenix New Times along with a couple of other students as a result of ultra-conservative media coverage of campus issues. Lacey was the executive editor of the New Times with Larkin as head of the advertising aspect of the publication.

The two men worked hard to create the feisty, weekly periodical, covering a wide variety of political and social issues. Their careers were put on hold when arrested on October 18, 2007, initiated by anti-immigrant sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County.

Arpaio was elected to the role of sheriff, service from 1993 to 2016, being labeled as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” due to a long history criminal actions in his jurisdiction. Arpaio, a former law enforcement officer, had been re-elected six times as sheriff until subsequently losing.

He announced that he would run for the Senate of Arizona. Eighty-five-year-old Republican Arpaio is an ally of Trump, and the report is that the President pardoned him after being proven guilty of criminal contempt. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase

He denied a judge’s court order to cease traffic patrols targeting immigrants. Opponents of the former sheriff thought he would finally be made accountable for his crimes, but such was not the case.

Arpaio was an avid supporter of Trump, and that turned out to be a smart move on his part since the pardon by the President kept him out of jail. He will not face any consequences for his actions. Lacey and Larkin had much to say about this decade-long issue with the former sheriff, as one might expect!

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and https://about.me/jim_larkin