On October 18th, 2007, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were hurled into unmarked vehicles with foreign license plates and carried off to two different detention facilities. They were arrested in such an unfair, unlawful way that public outcries led to their release.
For a bunch of years, they made a court case out of what had happened to them that night. The county that had wronged them—Maricopa County, ended up having to give them millions of dollars in “I’m sorry” money in 2013.
The two men had been harassed because they were the owners of a local publication called The Phoenix New Times. This publication passionately criticized the outrageous comings and goings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
While all of this drama was unfolding for Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, Sheriff Arpaio was experiencing a lot of problems. His problems were stemming from the fact that he had screwed with other people in unjust ways.
Joe Arpaio took a hardliner stance against undocumented immigration. As a result, he made it a point to spot out potential illegal aliens, catch them and deport them if they were really illegal. Since there is an inescapable racial component to the topic of undocumented immigration, he was accused of unfairly seeking out people with Hispanic appearances.
In December of 2011, a U.S. District Court Judge by the name of Judge G. Murray Snow ordered Sheriff Arpaio to stop bothering Latino drivers on the basis of being Latino. For the next eighteen months or more, Sheriff Arpaio and his officers resumed the racial profiling. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
In May of 2013, Judge Snow took notice of this and officially ruled that the Sheriff had engaged in racial profiling. Arpaio and his officers admitted that they had gone against the judge’s orders, though they claimed that they didn’t understand the orders.
Susan Bolton, a federal district judge, convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt. She accused him of purposely not following the orders that he was given to stop racially profiling minorities.
In the summer of 2017, Sheriff Arpaio was about to hear his sentence for criminal contempt when President Donald Trump swooped in and pardoned him. Arpaio was pretty lucky to have evaded jail time because he is a very old man. At age 85, any number of years in prison is a long time
What This Means
The Sheriff Arpaio case represents a huge split in interests in American society. Each side has a pretty good argument.
For example, the people who look up to what Arpaio did believe that he was protecting the safety and integrity of the country. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/ and https://about.me/jim_larkin
This is not an uneducated viewpoint, considering the fact that illegal immigration is tied in with a whole world of violence, drugs and human trafficking. Also, how fair is it, really, if Americans have to work hard and follow the laws while illegal immigrants are given a hand and don’t pay taxes?
On the other side of the coin, illegal immigrants are just trying to have better lives, and a lot of them are good people.
Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: