President Trump granted a pardon to Joe Arpaio in November 2017. Why was this important and why did it cause an uproar, especially involving the infamous remark attributed to Rex Tillerson calling the President a moron. Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was about to be sentenced for ignoring a court order by a Arizona federal judge.
Joe Arpaio was accused for illegally rounding up Latino immigrants in Maricopa County, Arizona, as well as torturing and racial profiling local Latino residents. The court order called for a cease and desist demand which Mr. Arpaio ignored and thus he was jailed.
What does all this mean? Let’s go to our backstory which begins with the award-winning journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are former editors and publishers of print and online publications like the Village Voice Media, Backpage.com, and the New Times tabloid. Messrs. Lacey and Larkin have a tumultuous history with Joe Arpaio. Lacey and Larkin have been the spying eyes on Joe Arpaio who called himself ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff.’
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio poorly served the Maricopa County for more than 24 years. The journalists continually reported on the illegal activities of Mr. Arpaio toward the Latino community and some questionable personal activities.
One night in October 2007, then Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his team burst into the home of Lacey and Larkin. They were arrested, and their documents and paperwork were confiscated.
Standing on the principle that this arrest was unconstitutional because of the First Amendment, the grassroots community, the American Civil Liberties Union in Arizona, politicians, and many civil rights organizations arose in an uproar against this illegal arrest. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Michael Lacey | Facebook
The journalists were released from jail within two days and Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin filed a law suit against the Maricopa County officials. Five years later a trial was held where they were found not guilty. Lacey and Larkin were also awarded $3.75 million which they used to create the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.
The Frontera Fund is an organization which supports human and civil rights for all people. The key to the pardon of Joe Arpaio by President Trump is based on what a pardon means. Former Sheriff Arpaio was accused of actual crimes of rape and physical imprisonment against the Latino community of Maricopa County.
But a pardon means that any crimes or former offenses against Mr. Arpaio are erased from his records. However, very interestingly, many Arizona residents believe that without a pardon, the Joe Arpaio would not have served any jail time.
The response by Michael and Jim on Arpaio’s pardon included their comment that the federal judge’s orders were totally ignored and that it is an injustice that Joe Arpaio will not be held responsible for his crimes. It was reported to Rex Tillerson for using the words moron after he heard about the pardon!
Joe Arpaio tried to run for Sheriff again in Maricopa County, but he was utterly defeated. Publication eyes are still watching the future of Joe Arpaio because Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin created an online news publication called the Front Page Confidential which reports on threats against the First Amendment.