Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Fight For First Amendment Rights In Face Of Torment By Sheriff Joe

The First Amendment o9f the Bill of Rights grants the freedom of the press. It is the first amendment for a reason. This incredibly important right allows the people of the United States of America to hold those in power accountable. Unfortunately, this foundational right is being challenged by the President of the United States and other elected officials.

This is most easily seen in the story of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The elected law enforcement officer ran the Sheriff’s Department of Maricopa County in Arizona for more than 20 years. He made plenty of enemies in Arizona’s most populous county including two reporters named Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were working for Village Voice Media and publishing articles about the corrupt Sheriff Joe Arpaio when they were arrested in their Phoenix homes late at night. Sheriff’s stormed their houses, pulled the men from their homes in front of their families and both men spent 24 days in jail.

Larkin and Michael quickly filed suit. Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested them for reporting on a grand jury’s activities. But the men did not know that the grand jury was actually investigating them. All of this breaks the First Amendment of the Constitution where the press has free reign to publish what it wants.

The two reporters settled for $3.7 million with the state of Arizona and quickly put that money towards charities involving Latinos. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a long history of profiling Latinos and pulling them over unconstitutionally.

He was ordered to stop profiling Latinos by a federal court and he defied the order. He was convicted of contempt and was awaiting sentencing when he was saved by Donald Trump.

Trump swooped into a pardon the Sheriff, but Joe Arpaio had to admit guilt in order to receive the pardon. It seems that these two racist men joined forces to defy the laws of the United States of America. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Speak Out on Trump Pardon of Arpaio | Phoenix New Times

This is all ironic as Sheriff Joe Arpaio was supposedly committed to the law. And each of these men is challenging the integrity of the First Amendment.

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