Larkin & Lacey

Village Voice Media Executives Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey know first hand what can happen if you get on the wrong side of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio, the self-appointed “Toughest Sheriff in America,” reigned over the citizens of Maricopa County for 24 long years. The Latino community took the brunt of his abuse. But he happily exacted his revenge upon anyone who dared to question his authority.

While Arpaio has committed a number of heinous acts, nothing could quite duplicate what happened in the evening hours of Oct. 7, 2007 when the sheriff’s squad of goons descended upon the homes of Larkin and Lacey.

Both men were handcuffed, taken away in black SUVs and put in jail. Both Larkin and Lacey also pen articles for the New Phoenix Times, and they were among Arpaio’s harshest critics. incidentally, what set the good sheriff off was a full-page article about an impending grand jury investigation. Both men were later released. The charges were dropped and they sued and won a $3.2 million lawsuit.

Arpaio’s antics during his 6 terms reads like something out a nightmare. Lacey and Larkin has violated the rights of many people, but Latinos were his race of choice. He and his officers continuously engaged in racial profiling in an attempt to find people without legal citizenship. In most cases, the people he harassed were, in fact, legal citizens of the U.S.

There were many other vile things like a “Tent City,” where inmates were forced to live in temperatures that sometimes reached 120 degrees; unexplained deaths and beatings inside his jails; a restraint chair that resulted in inmates suffocating; misappropriation of funds and much, much more. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook

Arpaio had been warned on many occasions about the legalities of his antics. It mostly fell on deaf ears. Arpaio was determined to do whatever he wanted, primarily because he had gotten away with it for so long.

A U.S. District Judge told Arpaio that he could not simply detained Latino citizens simply because of his suspicions. He was ordered to stop. He didn’t. He was then charged with obstruction.

Many were hoping that the good old sheriff would once and for all get a taste of his own medicine. Many couldn’t wait until they got a chance to see him do a perp walk. Alas, those days would never come thanks to President Donald Trump. He issued Arpaio a pardon, which means no jail time.

Actually, not many were surprised to see Trump make such a bold move. Both Arpaio and Trump were responsible for helping stir up the birther nonsense against President Barack Obama. Arpaio continues with it to this day.

If there is a silver lining, the people of Maricopa County can be assured that Joe Arpaio’s reign of terror is over. He lost his last bid to be elected sheriff. However, he is eyeing the Senate seat that will be vacated by Jeff Flake.

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