Will Legal Misdeeds Resume After Joe Arpaio’s Pardon?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona racked-up a long and notorious history of abuses during his six terms as the chief law enforcement officer in Maricopa County. His Selective Enforcement Unit was known to scoop up people in the middle of the night and whisk them away in black SUVs, many for nothing more than the suspicion of being illegal.

These abuses even extended to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, respectively CEO and Executive Editor of the Village Voice Media and Phoenix New Times, who were taken to separate jails after a midnight raid on their homes and held for 24 days.

There was national outcry over the arrests, which were considered in retaliation for unfavorable stories about the sheriff’s practices and civil rights abuses.

The charge was publishing details of a grand jury investigation which the newsmen were unaware that they were the subjects of. But, this wasn’t the first, nor would it be the last time that the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” would make local or national headlines.

From the time he was first elected in 1992, he strove to enact the most aggressive campaign in the nation against actual and suspected law breakers. Many of those who felt the rough side of justice under Sheriff Arpaio were women and Hispanics. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Micheal Lacey: https://thenewsversion.com/2018/03/larkin-lacey-speak-happened-joe-arpaio/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey

His tent cities were infamous, and he was sanctioned many times in court after being told he was violating the civil rights of those in his jurisdiction. He ignored all court orders, and after several lawsuits were filed against Arpaio and his department, various news publications became involved.

That’s how Larkin and Lacey got as first-hand taste of Arpaio-style justice. The pair later settled a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for $3.7 million.

Finally in 2017, even the citizens of Maricopa County had enough of Arpaio, and he lost his bid for a seventh term. He was also found guilty of contempt of court for continuing his civil rights abuses against Latinos and others. Many people were relieved to see him unable to target vulnerable populations any longer, and that’s where Donald Trump enters the picture.

Joe Arpaio was one of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters at a time when no one took his candidacy seriously. He was so vocal and enthusiastic in his support that Trump began to hint early on that he might pardon him if elected. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

One of Trump’s first official acts after his inauguration was to make good on that suggestion and pardon a man whom he referred to as a hero for his treatment of immigrants. This pardon has left many wondering, even fearful, for what’s next with both men.

Categories: Philanthropy

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