Many people assumed former sheriff Joe Arpaio would spend the rest of his days rotting away in a jail cell. However, to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, there was very little surprise in the pardon that Arpaio had received from President Trump. Learn more about Lacey and Larkin: http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
After more than 20 years of reporting on Arpaio, the two have come to expect calculated moves from him.
The latest one was supporting President Trump from the early stages of his campaign when many people discounted his chances of being a real candidate.
Arpaio, winner of re-election multiple times, lent Trump a kind of legitimacy he desperately needed. By backing Trump and the birther movement, he helped both to gain ground and eventually a foothold within the Republican party. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
Shrewd observers like Larkin and Lacey saw this as a move that Arpaio planned from the start, knowing he would eventually need help to avoid serving jail time.
With so much experience seeing Arpaio make moves to increase his power and avoid any retribution, the founders of the Phoenix New Times were not surprised to see the 85 year old worm his way out of his prison sentence.
This is not surprising considering the issue that earned him jail time in the first place, ignoring a judge’s direct word to stop racially profiling people.
In his time as Arizona sheriff, Arpaio did everything he could to earn a reputation as America’s Toughest Sherriff, the nickname he loved so much.
This included targeting groups like prisoners, Latinos, and even journalists like Larkin and Lacey. Some of the offenses he is known to have committed over time include:
- Forcing prisoners to live in inhumane conditions, including outside in tents in the Arizona heat
- Racially profiling people of Hispanic descent
- Illegally arresting Larkin and Lacey because he did not like what they published about them
In the case of the founders of the Phoenix New Times, Arpaio was held responsible in some way when they sued Maricopa County for compensation.
The millions they won went to found the Frontera Fund, a charity that focuses on helping the underrepresented stand up against injustices. Much of the assistance given is to Latinos unfairly targeted, like so many were under Arpaio’s reign as sheriff.
Unfortunately, Arpaio’s real punishment for this systemic racial profiling will never come to pass, thanks to the pardon he received.
Although he was ordered to serve jail time for contempt of a judgement against him, he now never will.