Everyone is told it’s important to protect those that can’t protect themselves, but that’s a trait rarely seen in modern society. These days, everyone’s just attacking each other all the time. There aren’t really innocent people anymore; everyone’s someone else’s pawn. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | LinkedIn
Occasionally, there will be a story about people just fighting for justice. It’s not a battle for supremacy or vengeance; it’s just about doing the right thing. That’s why stories like Lacey and Larkin’s fight against Sheriff Arpaio are so important. They weren’t trying to destroy an enemy. They wanted him to stop abusing innocent people. He destroyed himself.
For a number of years, Arpaio got used to doing whatever he wanted. Whenever someone challenged him or threatened his power, he used that power to silence or destroy them. Growing up in a race-focused cultured, he viewed other races differently. In his case, he viewed most of them as lesser than himself.
As a southwestern state, he particularly didn’t like Latinos. Being a border state, many of the locals were Mexican immigrants. He often participated in functions and rallies where he served a patriarchal role in fostering anti-Mexican fear-mongering. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As the duo dug deeper, they found a number of shady activities and incidents that proved that Arpaio is not fit to be a sheriff of anything. Most disgusting, his systematic abuse of Latinos. He seemed to have a knack for targeting and persecuting anyone that he believed to be of Mexican descent.
Because he and his friends didn’t view these people as Americans, he believed it was okay to abuse them however he saw fit. Once Phoenix New Times began reporting his activities, he focused his efforts on shutting the paper down.
When all his efforts failed, he had them arrested. The manner in which they were arrested seemed more like kidnapping. First, there was no official record of the arrests, because it’s illegal to arrest someone without probable cause. Second, they were arrested in the middle of the night and forced into unmarked SUVs. Third, they were taken to separate jails and subjected to Arpaio’s personal interrogations.
As hard as he tried, the sheriff couldn’t break the duo. They were released the next day after the nation found out what happened. Sheriff Arpaio lost his job, Maricopa County awarded the duo a $3 million settlement, and they used that money to create a fund that supports migrant rights.
Despite overcoming Arpaio’s hatred, nearly all of their work was undone by current President Donald Trump. He doesn’t seem to think that Arpaio is a bad guy.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:
http://www.phillypurge.com/2017/06/23/jim-larkin-michael-lacey-make-the-list-of-civil-rights-protectors/ and http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737