In July of 2017, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County received a conviction for criminal contempt. He had been the sheriff for 24 years, and he supported Donald Trump’s accusations that President Obama was not born in the United States.
The move was intelligent because he was just pardoned by President Trump. He will not go to prison, or pay for his actions. His opponents rejoiced when he lost the 2016 election, but felt he still had not paid for the pain he was responsible for.
The Frontera Fund is continuing the fight against men like the Sheriff, and the policies he endorsed. The career of Joe Arpaio was based on hard lining immigration. There is a large Hispanic and Latino population in Maricopa County, Arizona, and Joe Arpaio violated their civil rights.
He believed he was immune to prosecution because his behavior had lasted for so long with no consequences. In 2011, the change began when a preliminary injunction was issued by Judge G. Murray ordering the Sheriff to stop his persecution of Latino drivers.
Despite the clarity of the order, Arpaio continued the same tactics for at least another eighteen months. In May of 2013, Judge Snow ruled Arpaio was engaging in racial profiling. Arpaio’s claim was he had misunderstood the terms of the order. His protestations did not help him, and Judge Susan Bolton convicted him of criminal contempt.
She additionally ruled he had failed to make certain his employees obeyed the order, yet Joe Arpaio gave his employees orders to continue detaining the drivers of Hispanic and Latino descent. What a lot of the public was unaware of was in addition to harassing the Latino and Hispanic drivers, Joe Arpaio fought anyone who criticized him.
An excellent example is the case involving the Phoenix New Times. Arpaio was already unhappy with the paper for reporting his transgressions, and it came to a boil when the paper discovered Arpaio had grand jury subpoena issued requesting information about the readers, writers and editors of the paper. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://michael-lacey.com/ and http://www.phillypurge.com/2017/06/23/jim-larkin-michael-lacey-make-the-list-of-civil-rights-protectors/
An expose was published by the paper, and Arpaio reacted by sending armed deputies to arrest Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin from the Phoenix New Times. The two executives were removed from their homes, and placed in unmarked SUV’s. They were booked into jails under Arpaio’s management. Although they were released within a day, they had been detained illegally, and Arpaio was in violation of their First Amendment rights.
This resulted in a lengthy legal battle until 2012. The Court ruled there was no probable cause for their arrest, and it was noted public officials had ordered their critics arrested. Maricopa County had to pay a settlement of $3.7 million to Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin.
They established the Frontera Fund with the settlement, and began supporting Latino and Hispanic rights. The organizations supported by the fund help Hispanics and Latinos when law enforcement and public officials discriminate against them. While Joe Arpaio will not go to prison, much of the damage that occured under his rule is being undone by the Frontera Fund.