Former Village Voice executives Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are speaking out about the pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Thanks to Donald Trump, the 85-year-old embattled sheriff will not spend one day behind bars.
This is a huge disappointment to inmates and others who were unfortunate enough to feel the wrath of one of the most vile persons to ever wear a badge.
Larkin and Lacey know all to well about the exploits of Arpaio. They regularly penned articles in the Arizona New Times about his mounting illegalities and scandals. And like many who found themselves in the cross-hairs of Arpaio, they ended up paying a heavy price.
One evening in 2007, several members of Arpaio’s special goon squad paid the men a visit at their homes. They were handcuffed and absconded away in black SUVs. Once the story made national headlines, both men were quickly released with little explanation; they didn’t need one. 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/
It seems that old thin-skinned Joe had just about enough of all that bad talk circulating about him. The main source of that talk came straight from the pages of the Arizona New Times. The previous day, Larkin and Lacy wrote a particularly scathing article revealing information about an impending investigation involving the sheriff’s financial imbroglios.
What happened next was one of the most brazen and disturbing examples of Second Amendment Right violations ever seen. But this is an old story with Arpaio. He often used his allies and cronies at the Attorney General’s Office to exact revenge upon his enemies and anyone else who defied him. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
But Larkin and Lacey got the last laugh. In 2011, they were awarded $3.75 million in damages against Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.
By this time, the rogue sheriff had racked up quite a record over the years. The list of abuses were something otherworldly. Arpaio was known for his sheer hatred of Hispanics. He routinely engaged in racial profiling and the rounding up any brown-skinned person he thought crossed the border illegally — even if they were born here.
And what he allowed to happen inside his jails are the works of a truly depraved and evil mind. Just a short list of the atrocities: inmates routinely beaten, suicides well above the national average, pregnant inmates chained to beds while the gave birth, inmates suffocating while strapped in restraint chairs.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A full accounting of Arpaio’s demented actions would easily fill a small library.
Larkin and Lacey became a very aggravating thorn in the butt of Arpaio. But it was the Melendres vs. Arpaio lawsuit that brought him to his knees. The class action lawsuit, which has paid $70 million to date, found that the sheriff engaged in massive racial profiling.
A judge ordered him to stop. He refused. And right before the old curmudgeon was about to reap what he has so deservedly sewn, Trump stepped in.
The silver lining to the story is that Arpaio lost his reelection bid in 2016. Most folks hope he will simply go away now.