Arizona Journalists Speak out Against Arpaio’s Pardon

Ever since Joe Arpaio was elected Sheriff of Maricopa County, he has been trying to make a name for himself at the expense of others.

Originally, he attempted to be recognized as a tough on crime member of the law enforcement community. When his attempts fell short, he turned to immigration – a hot button issue among politicians.

“He was a terrible sheriff, a terrible jailer,” began Jim Larkin, one of Arpaio’s many victims. “But he was a great f—— politiian. I actually think he was a precursor to Trump.”

Jim Larkin was involved in one incident that brought Joe Arpaio fame. Joe Arpaio made headlines when he arrest Jim Larkin and his business partner Michael Lacey, of The Phoenix New Times.

Headlines all over the country mentioned Joe Arpaio’s illegal arrest of the two journalists. This was not the type of fame Arpaio wanted.]

Arpaio arrested the journalists and shipped them off to separate jails. Arpaio told the public he made the arrest because the journalists were writing about court documents in their paper; the real reason Arpaio arrested them is because they knew too much.

Writers at The Phoenix New Times had been investing Joe Arpaio’s illegal activities for years before the arrest. When Arpaio arrested Lacey and Larkin, his name was no longer merely appearing in local headlines: Arpaio was national. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter

In 2007, Arpaio cost the Maricopa County citizens 75 million dollars; 3.75 million dollars was paid to Larkin and Lacey alone. The majority of the rest of the money went to a Mexican citizen who was visiting Arizona on a tourist visa. Arpaio arrest the Mexican citizen for no reason other than the color of his skin.

Stemming from the event with the tourist, Joe Arpaio was charged and convicted of criminal contempt of court;however, Donald Trump pardoned him a mere 12 weeks before sentencing.

Michael Lacey, son of a construction worker and now journalist, attributes Trump’s move to his dwindling fanbase. “Trump’s approval rating is down around 30 percent,” he said. “[Trump’s supporters] are going to like what he did. But the rest of us are never going to forget it.”

While it is true that Trump and Arpaio’s fanbases cross over, Arpaio and Trump share similar views themselves on immigration. Just like Arpaio, Trump is attempting to make his name notorious through the use of harsh, sometimes nonsensical immigration policy.

The Mexican tourist that Arpaio arrest has surely retired with his family, but Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin still had work to do. With the money they received from their settlement they decided to co-found a couple of new organizations: a charity and a new publication.

They are using The Frontera Fund and Front Page Confidential to both spread awareness of Arpaio and to stop Joe Arpaio from advancing his political career. Since the lawsuit, they have sold Phoenix New Times in favor of their more politically focused efforts.