Presidential pardons in the United States are often dubious. Depending on which side of the political divide one subscribes to, these pardons spark heated social debate. President Trump recently issued his first Executive pardon.
The recipient was the former notorious, toughest Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio. It is Joe Arpaio that had unlawfully imprisoned the proprietors of Village Voice; Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://michael-lacey.com/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
About a decade ago, Joe Arpaio reinforced by Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit agents, invaded two residential homes in Phoenix, Arizona. It was not just coincidental or an oversight from the sheriff; as the homes belonged to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Joe Arpaio ordered his agents to drag the two out of their homes and put them behind bars. They were held under suspicion of disclosing technicalities regarding a grand-jury probe.
Village Voice Media
At the time, Larkin and Lacey were actively muddled in the Village Voice Media publication. Lacey was the executive editor and Larkin was in charge of advertising. The paper had gained audience and popularity because of its hard-hitting stance against political issues.
On the day of their arrest, they had published an article revealing details about an on-going grand jury investigation on Phoenix New Times. The paper was associated with Voice Media. Larkin and Lacey were not in the light, of the fact that they were under investigation by the same jury.
Larkin & Lacey vs Arpaio
The Arizona Sheriff was increasingly frustrated by Village Voice coverage regarding his brutal law enforcement techniques. Larkin & Lacey were on the forefront in protesting against his department. Arpaio was especially discriminative against Latino immigrants.
It was at the peak of Arpios brutality against women and inmates of Latino origin that Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey marshaled against the Arizona sheriff. They gathered evidence against Arpios and started leaking it to the public via their publication.
They published information exposing Arpaio’s actions several times. This would eventually lead to their arrest. They were released twenty-four days later following public demand. Consequently, they sued the Sheriff and settled for 3.7 million United States Dollars.
Arpaio was a pro-Trump from the beginning of times. As early as when Trump was questioning Obama’s birth certificate.
The Sheriff had been pushed to a tight corner after he was charged with contempt of court just after losing his re-election bid.
Arpaio’s endorsement of Trump at the early stages when most people doubted Trump got him into good books with Trump. He capitalized on these and rode all the way to Presidential pardon.
Larkin & Lacey
Jim Larkin teamed up Michael Lacey after they had both quit their studies at Arizona State University. Together they established Phoenix New Times as a campus weekly.
Phoenix New Times sought to tell the alternative truth regarding antiwar protests staged by students.
The two were committed to producing deep and exclusive investigative reports. Village Voice Media was consequently born.
By 2012 when they sold Village Voice Media, the publication had attracted nine million readers and honored with numerous journalistic awards like the Pulitzer Prize.