Presidential pardons are one of the powerful tools bestowed on the President of the United States. Often the pardons bring controversy and an outcry about why it should or shouldn’t have been done. President Trump used the power of his own pardon to issue a release of former Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was a sheriff in Maricopa County Arizona. He became well known for his arrest of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the owners of Village Voice.
Over a decade ago Joe Arpaio ordered the arrest of Larkin and Lacey and took them into custody, arresting them for tampering with a grand-jury investigation.
But prior to that friction between the two reporters and the sheriff started when they made allegations he encouraged his employees to use racial profiling of Latinos and other groups. Reports also included stories about the bad conditions in the jails and mistreatment of certain prisoners.
The executive editor and CEO of the Village Voice ran a story at the time about a probe being done by the grand jury. In retaliation for all the negative publicity the two gave him Arpaio used his position to issue subpoenas that allowed to them investigate the paper’s readers and the browsing histories of their readers.
Larkin and Lacey chose to write about it so the public was aware of what Arpaio and his people were doing. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/the-enduring-sins-of-joe-arpaio-michael-lacey-and-jim-larkin-speak-out-in-response-to-trumps-pardon-of-americas-worst-sheriff/ and http://releasefact.com/2017/09/jim-larkin-and-michael-lacey-continue-fight-for-latino-rights-after-pardoning-of-joe-arpaio/
Instead of Larkin and Lacey being sent to jail the action and attention back fired and ended in the eventual arrest of the sheriff.
Although the two men were released from custody and all of the charges were dropped, Arpaio, Who called himself ‘The World’s Toughest Sheriff’, remained imprisoned for years. And then President Trump was elected. Arpaio had long been a Trump supporter and that action paid off for him big after the election when President Trump issued the pardon. Read more: Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Make The List of Civil Rights Protectors | Philly Purge and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
The sheriff’s department, under Arpaio had started to get a lot of attention due the staff’s unusual law tactics and his handling of women and immigrant inmates.
Latinos, especially, were often mistreated by staff under the leadership of Arpaio. Although the press often failed to address his actions and interactions with the immigrant community, once Larkin and Lacey brought attention to the many wrongdoings by the sheriff, other news outlets picked up the stories as well. The negative publicity was not appreciated.
Lacey and Larkin spent 24 days in prison. The men sued Arpaio, and settled for $3.7 million.