The history of the United States included controversial and questionable presidential pardons. In the recent past, President Donald Trump pardoned a certain sheriff named Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona.
It was the first pardon that the U.S. President issued, but it is still shaping the nation’s social discourse today. One of Arpaio’s misdemeanors, according to reports, is the wrongful incarceration of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
When he assumed the sheriff’s office, Joe Arpaio was told in multiple cases what he was legally allowed and what he was not. Judge Murray Snow, a United States District Judge told Arpaio in 2011 that incarcerating immigrants on grounds of suspicion is not enough to get them detained. Since no evidence was found showing that the detainee had or didn’t have proper status, holding that individual goes against the U.S. constitution.
Eventually, the misdemeanors of Joe Arpaio were brought to the open when a lawsuit was filed against him about 10 years ago. The lawsuit disclosed the adverse conditions endured by the Tent City inmates. Based on the information contained in the lawsuit, the former sheriff was charged with violating the rights of immigrant groups including the Latinos.
This was the time when Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey began to make waves against Joe Arpaio by exposing his misdeeds against immigrants to the America people.
They used their publication to write about the sheriff and butted heads against his department on many occasions. This led to the arrest of Larkin and Lacey which was only made possible when a special prosecution team zeroed in on them. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://thenewsversion.com/2017/08/the-fall-of-sheriff-joe-arpaio-after-jim-larkin-and-michael-lacey-controversy/
A grand jury was created for that purpose which induced the pair to report the sheriff’s ‘criminal activities’ in their own publication, the Phoenix New Times. Larkin and Lacey released news stories exposing Arpaio but other newspapers did not even cover the sheriff at all.
But Arpaio is somehow connected to Trump, being a supporter of the then U.S. presidential candidate. Arpaio endorsed Trump at the early stages of the U.S. presidential campaign. Trump even gave a hint in his campaign speeches that he might pardon Arpaio.
Lacey believes that Trump pardoned Arpaio because he wanted to influence his support base, the nationalists, who regarded Arpaio like a hero. Considering the character of Trump’s campaign speeches, it seems that he followed this strategy which proved effective. He pandered to his support base by saying that he may pardon Arpaio and it seemed to work in favor of the president.
Eventually, Lacey and Larkin received settlement cash and used it to establish the Frontera Fund which now helps Latinos for their First Amendment rights protection. Even if Arpaio is out of prison, Frontera Fund is helping to resolve some of the issues and problems that the former sheriff has caused.
The aim of this organization is to fight against the legacy of Arpaio. Aside from Frontera Fund, Lacey and Larkin are also going back to writing by launching the Front Page Confidential. This is a website that is supposedly dedicated to the First Amendment and free speech.