It’s not unheard of for local police officers to get into trouble, but higher-ranking law enforcers usually stay out of trouble. In Sheriff Arpaio’s case, he stayed out of trouble so long because he was using his power to silence his critics. Two critics he never silenced were Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Lacey and Larkin co-founded Phoenix New Times in the early 70s. Since then, New Times has been their weapon against the ultra-conservative wave of oppression that’s blanketed Arizona for decades. That blanket of conservative views allowed people like Joe Arpaio to reign tyranny on the helpless.
Most of the local media’s coverage of Arpaio made him look like a nice man who just does his job as best he can. New Times revealed that Arpaio was a horrible man. He often participated in anti-Mexican fear-mongering, where he usually played a patriarchal role.
Everyone avoided talking about his racist believes because he was a good sheriff. Again, New Times revealed that even that was a lie. They found financial irregularities, and he couldn’t even properly manage his own sheriff’s office. He applied those same poor management skills to the jails he was responsible for overseeing. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook
The substandard health conditions in those jails led to numerous illnesses and even some deaths. Still, local Arizona ignored how terrible this man was. Even when New Times reported on the way he systematically persecuted, profiled, and detained Latinos, they ignored his actions. Eventually, Arpaio became enraged with Phoenix New Times. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/ and http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/
He tried, as he’s done many times before, to silence New Times. He used fake subpoenas to try to acquire all of New Times’ records and notes. He even wanted the names and personal records of New Times’ editors and writers. Still, he hadn’t crossed the line enough to get people’s immediate attention.
On October 18, 2007, he crossed the line. That night, he sent his controversial “Selective Enforcement Unit” to arrest Lacey and Larkin. They didn’t just arrest them and take them to the station. They arrested the duo in the middle of the night and drove them to separate jails.
Again, Arpaio used fake subpoenas to try to force the duo into giving up the names of their editors and writers. This time, he wanted more, demanding the personal information of their readers.