For Micheal and Lacey what happened with the pardon granted to Sheriff Arpaio was nothing short of a travesty to justice. The duo had always waited eagerly for a day that would see the sheriff punished for his actions.
The guilty verdict had been a validation of what they had reported all along that the sheriff had little to no regard for the rule of law but was a self-absorbed racist who thrived on vilifying anyone who did not look like him.
The sheriff since his first election in 1992 when he campaigned on a promise of change had transformed himself into a tough on immigration character that was hell-bent on applying the law as he deemed fit. The sheriff rather than fulfilling the promises that he had run on of addressing the issue of overcrowding in jails, choose to focus on other matters instead.
He developed a less than practical solution that involved tented jails which were meant to hold inmates on a temporary basis before they found a permanent solution to the crisis. This tented jails would soon turn into places nobody would ever to want walk into due to the inhumane conditions and treatment of inmates. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/ and http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/
These camps were reported to get to 135 degrees during summer, a place where inmates were assaulted continuously by officers as well as the chaining of expectant mothers to their beds as they gave birth.
This level of inhumanity and denial of human rights would spur Lacey and Larkin to action when they investigated the incidents and reported the same on the Phoenix news time. The details of this and more horrific acts would emerge when it was established that indeed a woman had slipped into a coma after she was denied access to medication despite the department being fully aware of her medical condition. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
The reports would futher identify the death of a veteran during a jail riot that left numerously injured as suspicious. The sheriff was always at hand during press conferences to absorb himself or members of his department from any wrongdoing while pointing out the immense responsibility that was placed on their shoulders.
This would have worked the cases not continued to rise, and with every new case, it became harder for there to be a substantive defense for it. The sheriff would eventually face a barrage of lawsuits that focused on racial profiling. The Melendres v. Arpaio’s case was the most prominent and one of the most expensive costing the taxpayer more than 70 million.
The case focused on the sheriff and his department and how they were engaging in systematic racial profiling and harassment of minorities. The case would find him guilty of a long-held belief by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Despite all his wrongdoings the sheriff still had a personal grudge against the two and had in 2007 ordered there arrest in the middle of the night. What the sheriff did not expect was the swift and brutal condemnation of his actions from every corner of the country. The department had no choice but drop all charges and release the two.