In yet another assault on the rights of innocent Americans, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio orchestrated the arrest of two Village Voice Media executives after they wrote an a scathing article about the Sheriff in the the Phoenix New Times.
Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were rounded up by Arpaio’s deputies and taken to separate jails where they were booked later that evening.
Arpaio, who dubs himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” has a long history of exacting vengeance upon those who challenge him. Both men have written exposes in the Village Times News regarding Arpaio’s illegal activities, which don’t stop at racist, fear-mongering against Mexican Americans and mismanagement at his jail.
While Arpaio’s cronies have defended him by portraying him as a harmless offbeat character, Lacey and Larkin have launched a full on assault exposing Arpaio’s misdeeds, which are extensive.
Arpaio’s questionable behavior includes unhealthy prison conditions; inmate mistreatment; systematic persecution; racial profiling and unconstitutional detentions.
Both men exposed in the Phoenix New Times, how Arpaio, along with his lackey’s in the Attorney General’s Office continually harassed writers, editors and even readers by issuing subpoenas to gain their IP addresses and browsing history.
Lacey and Larkin were both released in under 24 hours after the story went national.
Lacy and Larkin’s illegal detention was noted in 2012 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as the following: “It is hard to conceive of a more direct assault on the First Amendment than public officials ordering the immediate arrests of their critics. And, in this case, there was nothing subtle about their efforts to stifle the New Times.”
It was also noted that due to the prosecutors sidestepping of required legalities, the subpoenas were illegal.
In the end, the men won a $3.7 million judgement against the Maricopa Arizona Sheriff’s Office.
Lacey and Larkin used the funds to promote the Frontera Fund, an initiative to help fight against the abuses perpetrated against Mexican Americans.
“Joe Arpaio mistreated and profiled Mexicans and other people of color. He also helped foster an atmosphere of fear against these people.”