Former New Times co-owners Jim Larkin and Michael Lacy have strongly condemned the action taken by President Donald Trump to set free Joe Arpaio.
Last week it was U.S District Judge Susan Bolton who validated Trump’s decision hence bringing to an end the court battles that have been ongoing for the past ten years.
Joe Arpaio is accused of committing various crimes while serving as a sheriff in Maricopa County. He is accused of mistreating and torturing inmates as well as diverting funds meant for the prison to his private accounts.
When the news broke out that he had been pardoned, Lacey and Larkin must have been the most surprised people. The two former journalists had tirelessly worked to piece together evidence that incriminated the former county sheriff.
Lacey was aggrieved by the action taken by president Trump to pardon Joe Arpaio. “I cannot believe that this has happened, Donald Trump is just a moron who doesn’t care about the law. He is racist and corrupt just like his friend Arpaio” lamented Lacey.
Although many people were not surprised by Donald Trump’s decision, Lacey and Larkin were never pleased by the new. They said that the U.S justice system had failed.
Arpaio before being elected to office in 1992 was a retired drug enforcement officer. Upon his appointment, he renamed himself as the toughest sheriff and attracted media attention across the country for the way he treated inmates.
He was so rough to the extent that some inmates could not survive his punishments and style of doing things. Some of them committed suicide while some were tortured to death. He tried to bring reforms as expected and show his masters that he was the right man for the job.
However, on his neck were the no-nonsense journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. They exposed sad untold stories of how inmates were being mistrusted and tortured including a diabetic woman who went into a coma after being denied her treatment.
Arpaio misused his office to conduct shoddy investigations just to punish people he did not like. He is reported to have ordered the investigations of the birth certificate of former president Barrack Obama and went ahead to bribe the presiding judge to rule in his favor. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
He dealt with media houses that were opposed to his work such as the New Times by banning its reporters from covering his meetings. However, Lacey and Larkin were never shaken.
They relentlessly worked to gather all manner of evidence that would later incriminate the former sheriff. In 2007 the two journalists were arrested and later released. They filed a lawsuit with Maricopa County, and in 2013 they were paid by a total of $3.75 million in compensation.
Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin started the Phoenix New Times back in 1970 when Lacey dropped out of Arizona State University after publishing the newspaper’s first inaugural issue.
Lacey became the executive editor of the newspaper while Larking handled the advertisement section. Together they worked hard and grew the newspaper to what it is right now.