There is a lot of anger centered around a recent decision to pardon Joe Arpaio, simply because of the crimes that he has been able to get away with over the years. No one understands that anger more than Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, Village Voice owners and former editors for the Phoenix New Times.
As residents of Arizona, where Arpaio operated, they had first-hand seats to some of the most delicious things that he did. While he gained national attention as the nation’s toughest Sheriff for his tent cities, he was doing something more notorious in the background to the migrant population that resides in Arizona.
Arizona is a border state and has a large migrant population. Arpaio felt as though there were an inordinate amount of migrants in his area and used his position to frequently target individuals within his jurisdiction. He did so in a number of ways, most commonly he would pull over anyone that “looked” like they did not belong. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
This led to many American citizens being harassed and a class-action lawsuit. This class-action lawsuit mandated that Arpaio change his practices or serve jail time.
In order to secure this decision, he was also expected to report to a court supervisor and allow his department to be overseen. Both of these things he did not submit to and was eventually charged with contempt.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were also on the end of injustice when it comes to Arpaio. Paste did not like the journalists and would stop at nothing to make their lives harder. He felt as though the coverage he was receiving was negative, rightly so based on what he was doing, so he would not allow their reporters into press conferences or other important matters. Their work at the Phoenix New Times began to anger him and he used the publication of some information on a land dispute to arrest them.
This was a violation of their rights and they were quickly freed, winning more than $3.75 million in a lawsuit. They continue to push against Arpaio by using that money to establish a Frontera Fund. This fund is dedicated to advancing the motives of the migrant population in Arizona, a direct contradiction to the overall policies of Arpaio.
When it comes to Arpaio, he never served a day in jail. He used his very lucrative White House contacts to secure a presidential pardon instead of having to serve any time. Larkin and Lacey are disappointed by the decision, but they also understand that from his injustice comes a movement towards a better understanding of migrant human rights.
Anyone interested in learning more about this incident can find an article published on thenewversion.com. Writer Gemma Cottrell does an excellent job of providing some of the key points in the case and allows people to get a better understanding of some of the atrocities committed by Arpaio.
Larkin and Lacey will continue to build the contacts centered around their Frontera Fund, a gym that was born out of tragedy.