The former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona was Joe Arpaio. He billed himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff”. He viewed his position as being primarily dealing with illegal immigration. For years he had his deputies target Hispanic people so that he could arrest them, especially if they were in the country illegally.
One of the ways he did this was by having Hispanic drivers profiled and then pulled over for some tiny infraction real or imagined. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter
The beginning of the end of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s career in law enforcement began in December 2011. There was a lawsuit against him and his sheriff department for illegally profiling Hispanic drivers.
The judge, G. Murray Snow, ordered him to stop doing this. He ignored the order and kept profiling Hispanics and other minority drivers. In May 2013 he was brought back into court to explain why he was ignoring the judge’s ruling and why his deputies continued to engage in this illegal activity. He claimed he didn’t understand the order which of course wasn’t true.
In the middle of 2017, Joe Arpaio was convicted for criminal contempt for ignoring the judge’s order. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/
He was facing jail time until President Donald Trump swiftly issued a pardon for him. The reason for this is because, among other reasons, Joe Arpaio had been one of the most ardent voices in the birther movement about President Barack Obama that Trump had started.
Many people over the years had run-ins with Sheriff Joe Arpaio up through when he finally got voted out of office in 2016, including people that weren’t minorities. Two of these people were Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
They were executives of a local media company, Village Voice Media. They produced a local newspaper called Phoenix New Times and for years they had been publishing articles about what Joe Arpaio and his department were up to.
One day Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey found out that some of Arpaio’s supporters in the Maricopa County attorney’s office had issued a grand jury subpoena that was about their newspaper.
The attorney’s office wanted to get personal information about every editor, writer, and even worse reader of the newspaper. Once they found out about this Larkin and Lacey published an article about this rather than letting the attorney’s office and Arpaio get away with this.
Just after this article was published, both Larkin and Lacey were arrested in the dead of the night and taken off in unmarked vans.
They were put in jail’s that were controlled by Arpaio. There was a national outcry about this once the arrests were exposed and both of them were released from jail.
This event resulted in Larkin and Lacey suing the county. The won the lawsuit and were awarded $3.7 million. Rather than keeping this money to themselves they instead established the Frontera Fund.
This fund provides money to groups dedicated to protecting the rights of minorities in Maricopa County and the rest of Arizona as well.