A large majority of the American civil society expected that Joe Arpaio would end his life in jail considering the extent of abuse and atrocities he did during his years of office as the sheriff of Maricopa County.
Especially, the victims of his torture saga were eagerly waiting for the justice from the U.S. courts, but the Presidential pardon shattered all of their cry for justice. Arpaio was facing contempt of court charges and was weeks away from a possible prison term. The victims lashed out against the Presidential pardon though it was expected from President Donald Trump.
In the wake of the recent developments, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, both experienced torture and arrest by the Sheriff as the reporters of Phoenix New Times, spoke their mind about Arpaio and the recent developments.
Especially, Lacey was highly unhappy with the development and said that Trump is behaving like a fool, and his recent action of pardoning the Sheriff proved it. He continued that the act gave an impression of the marriage between two ill-minded and corrupt individuals.
According to Lacey, Arpaio exhorted racism as well as torture during his years of office, and the Presidential pardon wrote over the mutilated bodies of the innocent souls ended up in the jails of Arpaio. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
The journalists were arrested due to their extensive reports on the atrocities and misuse of official power for personal benefits by Arpaio. Since the Sheriff took office in 1992, he was known for various acts that are detrimental to the cosmopolitan culture of the United States.
He designed jails with brutal conditions and even designed a tent city prison, which he often addressed as a concentration camp in public speeches. Apart from inmate deaths and suicides in his prisons due to the tortures, he also made an illegal diversion of jail funds over $100 million.
Additionally, hundreds of sex-crimes also reported during those years with many of them were targeting children. All of those crimes were pulled down by poor investigations or no legal actions. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
However, the racial profiling towards the Latino community in the county had a different fate as it became a class action named Melendres v. Arpaio which ended as a criminal conviction for the Sheriff. But, according to Lacey, even if Trump was not stepped in, Arpaio would have escaped due to the age factor, which Lacey thinks that the failure of the Justice System of America. Additionally, he was never prosecuted for his misdeeds but only for not following the court order to stop racial profiling.
The response of Arpaio towards the criticism of New Times in the form of Arrests of Lacey and Larkin in 2007 created immediate public outburst across the country. The political leaders, members of civil society, activist groups, and the public joined hands to protest against it. It finally ended with Arpaio releasing the journalists within 24 hours of arrest.
The arrest, which is considered as breach towards the First Amendment Rights of Larkin and Lacey, ended by the county paying a hefty $3.75 million settlement – which is very less than $70 million cost for the Melendres suit for the county.