Home News 'Toughest sheriff in America' under fire for warrantless arrests of critics in...

‘Toughest sheriff in America’ under fire for warrantless arrests of critics in the middle of the night

Joe Arpaio (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP)

Self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” is facing a lawsuit for ordering police to break into the homes of two journalists and arresting them in the middle of the night.

The Phoenix New Times paper has long been a critical of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose questionable actions have included organizing detention facilities for illegal immigrants that some have compared to Nazi concentration camps.  Apparently Arpaio got so annoyed with their criticism that he issued a subpoena demanding the newspaper to give up its sources. The subpoena, issued by Arpaio’s office, “demanded that the paper reveal its confidential sources as well as produce reporters’ and editors’ notebooks, memoranda, and documents.” When newspaper co-owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin refused to follow through, though, they received a surprise visit.  Both men were arrested in the middle of the night in their own homes by sheriff’s deputies and accused of a misdemeanor. Law enforcement didn’t even bother to obtain a warrant for the arrest, however, so needless to say the charges were dropped the next day.

The sheriff is now facing a lawsuit for violating constitutionally-protected free speech by ordering the arrest of the two news executives in 2007.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s arrest and jailing of journalists is part of a pattern of trying to silence critics,” Lacey told the Huffington Post. “It is an outrageous abuse of power. But he loves the publicity, even when it backfires. Arpaio relishes law enforcement by headlines. Today he rounds up Mexicans. Tomorrow’s target is anybody’s guess.”

Although charges were dropped, Lacey and Larkin sued the sheriff for violating their freedom of speech. The newspaper co-owners also argued that they had been falsely arrested and targeted for selective prosecution.

On Wednesday, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the newspaper executives could sue the sheriff for their arrests without a warrant.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Must Read

DESERT ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY STAGES “PROOF” AT PALM SPRING’S WOMAN’S CLUB

Playwright David Auburn debuted his smart and intriguing drama “Proof” in 2000.  Auburn was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a coveted...

Border Patrol Arrests Woman Attempting to Smuggle Meth

SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro SectorBorder Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a woman suspected of smuggling methamphetamine...

What to Consider When Planning a Cruise Everyone loves going on vacation, but planning your getaway is another story with questions like where and when...

Lynda Carter, Emmy Award Winning Actress a​nd Singer to Perform April 6th in Palm Springs

The Legend Returns to Palm Springs… Lynda Carter, star of stage, TV, and screen for one unforgettable evening of music and stories Saturday, April...

Hollywood Insider Peter Bart Shares All…

Peter Bart served as Vice President for production at Paramount during the period of The Godfather, Rosemary’s...
%d bloggers like this: