The first presidential pardon that president trump issued was to one of his earliest supporters sheriff Joe Arpaio. This was a man who has been in Trump’s corner since the beginning of the birther movement. This was a group that came out to claim that President Obama was not born in the United States and thus had not been elected lawfully to the office.
This assertion although obnoxious and sad would mark the beginning of a campaign that would propel a former TV star to the white house. Sheriff Joe has hard quite a turbulent time as a sheriff this was especially in his final years where he would face a barrage of lawsuits for his actions over the years.
The sheriff was first elected to office in 1992 then fresh from working as a Drug enforcement officer. He had promised his constituents to bring change to the office, but instead, he ended up being one of the most controversial figures as an elected law enforcer. He developed a habit of racial profiling and specifically targeting the Hispanic community in Maricopa. The profiling was systematic and was embraced by his office to the extent that it seemed normal.
The sheriff would nickname himself America’s toughest sheriff this was founded on his twisted policy on immigration. He established a tented camp which was used as a jail. This tented camps nicknamed by the sheriff “concentration centers” would be a place where inmates would meet some of the greatest injustices meted on inmates and detainees.
This were violations of there fundamental human rights, and this was some of the areas that Jim Larkin and Micheal Lacey devoted their efforts on. The pair who are former owners of the phoenix new times were dedicated journalists always focused on finding the truth and reporting that same truth through there platforms.
The reports that they wrote did not flatter the sheriff as they always seemed to paint him in bad light. This, however, was not a biased move but rather a reflection of the true fate of affairs under the sheriff’s administration.
In 2004 the paper printed an expose that detailed the sheriff’s investments in real estate that was worth more than half a million dollars for a man who was a public servant. This report was deeply personal for the sheriff and seemed to be the final straw for him. The sheriff would from that point on make it his mission to get back at all those associated with the phoenix new times.
He banned their reporters from his press conferences and continuously threatened them.
When he finally decided to arrest Jim and Micheal, it marked the beginning of a protracted battle that would see the sheriff lose a case and the taxpayer forced to bear the impact of the sheriff’s actions when they were forced to settle for 3.75 million.
This money is today part of what funds the Frontera fund.
Learn more about James Larkin and Michael Lacey: