Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have come out very strongly to condemn the actions of President Donald Trump granting Sheriff Joe Arpaio a presidential pardon. This form of condemnation comes from a place of understanding; the two understood the sheriff’s action and the consequences they had over the years and what this actions had done to an entire community.
The Hispanic community had suffered racial profiling during the tenure of the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America who thrived on vilifying the Hispanic community and throwing all matter of xenophobic campaigns at them.
He would sow seeds of discord among the members of his county by purporting that the said community was responsible for all manner of crimes ranging from murder, the sale of drugs and theft.
This strategy worked well for the sheriff as by maligning one community it meant that he was able to get elected for six consecutive terms and as thus was able to remain in charge of law enforcement for a period of 24 years.
This would see Maricopa county Hispanic community suffer some of the most persistent harassment and racial profiling cases in decades. They were actively targeted with their businesses and those that employed them being subject to random raids by the sheriff’s department. This was in line with the misplaced tough on immigration stance that the former drug enforcement officer was out to enhance. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Twitter
The campaign would be implemented systematically and was meant to silence any dissidence with the sheriff coming up with all manner of reasons and excuses for his actions. His jails were populated with, members mostly drawn from this community and it is for this reason that they would continue to suffer even more harm whenever they were detained.
The cases of suicide by inmates seemed to rise with every passing day while not counting the numerous instances of sexual offenses, beatings and mysterious deaths of the same inmates. The sheriff operated a system that thrived on arrests and deportations that were illegal but meant to show him as a man who was willing to take unpopular actions to keep the community safe.
This was however not the actual case for those who went behind the scenes to investigate what was actually happening they were able to obtain the real picture and what they saw was not particularly impressive. For long the Sheriff and his department had been able to intimidate journalists and reporters into silence by threatening them at all costs. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
These tactics would however not work on Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the two had for long been used to such threats and considered their search for truth beyond such actions. This boldness would see the sheriff take some bold moves to register his displeasure and try and dissuade them from investigating him.
This actions started when he banned reporters that were affiliated by any form or means to the Phoenix new times from covering his press conferences. This was followed by threats of arrest and legal action. The threats would later come to fruition when the two were arrested in 2007 on trumped-up charges.