The recent presidential pardon extended to Joe Arpaio by President Donald Trump is one that will go into history books as the most controversial. America is not new to controversial presidential pardons, though. There is an increasing concern as to the use of the privilege extended to the US presidency.
Joe Arpaio was regarded as the toughest yet the most notorious Sheriff America has ever seen. According to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, although he was known for being notorious in many respects, he is best known for the arrests of the two journalists when he was still in office. He was also the protagonist of the wrongful imprisonments of the owners of Village Voice; a newspaper that updated the Arizona community on the developments in the county.
Tracing Joe Arpaio’s History
It is about 10 years ago when the then Maricopa County Sheriff sent his agents to arrest the two journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
They budged into the apartments of the two in Phoenix and hauled them into police vans. The Sherriff instructed his agents to charge the two journalists for disclosing details relating to a jury investigation. Mr. Arpaio had grown notorious for arresting immigrants indiscriminately and holding them in prison for trumped-up charges.
The Phoenix Times journalists had got wind of the activities of the county Sheriff and had published incriminating stories relating to Mr. Joe. One of the stories related to misappropriation of county funds, which Arpaio supposedly authorized without following the laid down procedures. Joe was not impressed with the two for highlighting the evils he was orchestrating.
The journalists helped the community to get wind of news of abuse of power by county officials and other related government staff. Michael Lacey was the executive editor of the Village Voice while Jim Larking worked as its Chief Executive Officer. In fact, on the day of the police raid, they had published information relating to the investigations of a grand jury.
Act of Anger
Joe Arpaio could not stand the frustration. His activities had been widely covered by the newspapers run by the two journalists. He had established an aggressive law enforcement approach since he had been inaugurated in 1992. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
Arpaio set up the infamous Tent City to keep immigrants that he had arrested without proof of a crime. He is said to have issued several orders that bordered on assault against the women inmates.
He is noted to have held a special grudge against immigrants. In some incidents, women are reported to have given birth while still chained onto their beds.
The issues had been highlighted by several other media but little action was being taken to correct the situation. Joe Arpaio grabbed the opportunity to use his powers as the county sheriff to frustrate the media and the two journalists in particular. Read more: Jim Larkin | Twitter and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Arpaio is Defiant
Joe Arpaio operated as if he was the law unto himself. He had been warned and notified regarding which ones of the actions he took were within the provisions of the law and which ones were breaching the same.
Joe ignored all legal counsel including the advice of District Judge Murray Snow who, in 2011, informed the sheriff that detaining immigrants based on suspicion only was infringing on their rights.