On 18th October 2007, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were wrongfully arrested for doing their jobs as reporters; being watchdogs in the society and the government. The two journalists were arrested in an unprofessional, third world manner.
The detectives who did so arrested them in plain clothes, unmarked cars with Mexican plates. If nothing else was an indication that the arrest was unlawful, this was enough indication. The duo was charged with misdemeanours for revealing grand jury secrets. This is to say that they broke existing laws to protect their reputation, which was hardly true.
Earlier the same day, the two journalists had published an article they titled “Breath taking Abuse of the Constitution”. In this article they exposed yet another unlawful did the infamous sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The sheriff has acted with impunity over the years, ignoring court orders one after the others. He has been known to profile Latinos who live in the state, harassing and accusing them of being in the country illegally.
The sheriff who prides himself in being a reformist and has declared himself to be the toughest sheriff in the country. A testimony of his awful claim in the shocking numbers of inmate suicide in his correctional facilities, pregnant mothers giving birth in jail being tied to their beds and the brutal jail conditions the tent city he proudly called a consecration camp.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey constantly published stories that uncovered the sheriff’s unlawful ventures. As a result, they were a constant pain in the flesh to the sheriff. This put them in the sheriff’s radar as a target to be dealt with.
The article they had written exposing the sheriff’s deeds on that day got national attention and there was a public outcry for their release. Since the two were not breaking any law, they had to be freed.
Once free men, they sued the sheriff. That law suit saw them get a settlement of 3.75 million US dollars. With the money they got from the settlement, they founded the Fontera Fund and the Front page confidential.
Even after the law suit the journalists filed against him, Joe Arpaio continued in his unlawful ways. Cases of inmate beating deaths were still reported, diversion of money meant to fund correctional institutions and many sex- crime cases some of which involved children. Read more; Jim Larkin | LinkedIn and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
Each of these accusations were quieted by non- existent or poor investigations. A pile of all these crimes resulted in the law suit that saw him get a criminal conviction; the Melendres v. Arpaio class action.
Though many people thought the sheriff would not stay a day in prison because of the friends he has in high places, they all hoped that the law of the land would be respected and the verdict would hold.
However, in a move that surprised few, The President Of the US, Donald Trump pardoned the sheriff. This pardon was formally validated by Judge Susan R. Bolton. This set free the one criminal all citizens of Arizona State wanted out of the streets.
Reacting to this move by the government, Lacey said that this confirms that their president is a Moron, just like Rex Tillerson had alluded.
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