Throughout the United States of America’s history, there have been many controversial presidential pardons. The most recent one is the release of Joe Arpaio by President Trump. He had been jailed for many heinous acts including the arrest of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the Village Voice owners.
The Arpaio’s Initial Story
Under Arpaio’s orders, Maricopa County Selective Enforcement unit agents arrested Jim Larkin and Michael Lacy and imprisoned them. Their charges were, interfering with a grand-jury investigation by disclosing the investigation’s details.
Lacey was the executive editor and Larkin was the Chief Executive Officer of Village Voice Media newspaper. Before their arrest, they had published a story talking about a grand jury in a Village Voice Media publication called the Phoenix New Times without knowing they were being investigated by the Grand jury.
Arpio was frustrated by the continuous coverage of his unconstitutional law enforcement tactics since he took over office in the Sheriff’s department in 1992. His aggressive tactics had been publicized several times by various publications. He could detain people (especially immigrants) on suspicion grounds which is not legally admissible and unconstitutional.
Arpio was always advised against such atrocities behind closed doors. However, they came to the surface when a lawsuit was initiated against him and the conditions which inmates in Tent City faced. He was charged but ignored it and continued with his work.
That encouraged his colleagues to practice racial profiling of Latinos. Finally, after several years of impunity, the outcry increased and caught the attention of reporters.
Lacey and Larkin took it a notch higher and exposed them multiple times leading to their arrest. Their arrest didn’t attract much attention until a lot of articles derived from their work were published when it became the center of attention.
They were released after 24 days in custody and initiated a lawsuit which saw them being settled for $3.7 million.
The Pardon of Arpaio by the President
After the court settlement, it was almost the end of the road for the former Sheriff. Maybe, being a good reader of political wind shift, he realized that and planned an exit strategy. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
He endorsed Trump for presidency during the campaigns despite the mockery he was receiving about the possibility of Trump securing the GOP nomination. Well, the strategy worked because Trump needed the support of Arpaio’s supporters. Trump hinted he would release him and afterwards, he fulfilled it.
While Arpaio worked in Arizona, Latino community had been undermined. After his arrest, sanity started to resume steadily after human rights movements raised concerns and fought against the cases that built Arpaio’s legacy.