In July 2017 the notorious former sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, was found guilty of criminal contempt. He had been notorious not just around Arizona but across the United States for violating the rights of the people who were brought into contact with him and his deputies.
When the birther movement was started by Donald Trump in regards to where the then President Obama had been born Joe Arpaio enthusiastically joined in. That move paid off because soon after being convicted he was pardoned for his crime by Trump.
Joe Arpaio had been voted in as sheriff six times. Finally, on his seventh run, he was defeated and replaced in November 2016. He continues to be a thorn in the side of minority groups, Latinos and Hispanics in particular. One organization also stands against him which is the Frontera Fund.
There is a large number of Latinos and Hispanics in Arizona, in particular in Maricopa County. It’s near the border with Mexico which helps people settle here. It was well known that when he was sheriff Joe Arpaio would do anything he could against those who were immigrated illegally to the United States and settled in Maricopa County. He often violated their civil rights in order to punish them for being in the United States. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
The founders of the Frontera Fund were Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin who had their own run-ins with Joe Arpaio. They were journalists who often had articles about him written in the Phoenix New Times. One night both were arrested and put in prison because Arpaio wanted to get his hands on their reporter notes, something that is clearly against the law.
After a national outcry both were released and they consequently sued Maricopa County. They were awarded $3.7 million which they put to use by starting a fund that would help minorities who face discrimination in the state of Arizona. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Angel.co
Joe Arpaio got away with his illegal behavior for many years and felt he was immune to the consequences of his actions. It was in the latter half of 2011 when a judge had ordered him and his deputies to stop profiling Latino drivers. The judge made it very clear this behavior had to stop. However, Arpaio refused to comply with the judge and instead they kept on profiling Latinos. It was this conduct that landed him back in court in 2013 where he claimed that he only violated the judge’s order because he didn’t understand it.
The Frontera Fund has been defending the rights of minorities in Arizona since 2007. They have helped dozens of organizations that focus on issues such as the rights of migrant workers and people who have entered the country illegally.
Since Arpaio was pardoned by Trump there seems to be little consequence to racists serving in public positions. It is due to this reason that organizations like the Frontera Fund serve such a vital purpose in defending people’s rights and exposing the misdeeds to the general public.