On the date of October 18, 2007, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin found themselves being handcuffed and arrested, by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his team of officers. Both Larkin and Lacey, business executives at Village Voice Media, were taken away from their homes in Phoenix, Arizona, by force and transported with unmarked vehicles with tinted windows and featuring Mexican license plates. A few hours later, Larkin and Lacey were jailed separately per Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s decision.
Joe Arpaio is self-entitled “America’s Toughest Sheriff”. His motivation for the arrest was due to the fact that Phoenix New Times featured Arpaio’s several misdeeds in several articles. The newspaper published stories exposing Arpaio’s involvement motivating an anti-Mexican movement in the state of Arizona. The Phoenix New Times exposed not only Arpaio’s irregularities but also his bad sheriff office management; for improper employment of power and authority against Arpaio’s enemies; for terrible jail sanitation; for treating jail inmates badly and even some that died due to Arpaio’s actions; for persistent persecution, racial profiling and detaining Latinos unconstitutionally.
After Arpaio detained Larkin and Lacey because they ran a story about illegal grand jury subpoenas in the Phoenix New Times, both ended up being released as well as charges being dropped in less than a day’s time due to a large number of people calling out against Arpaio.
Due to the illegal arrest and incarcerations of Larkin and Lacey, a court case was filed which reviewed the 1st Amendment rights as well as the abuse of power. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the grand jury subpoenas had no validity because Arpaio failed to follow necessary legal steps and the arrests occurred without a probable cause.
In the year of 2013, Larkin and Lacey were awarded $3.7 million in a settlement. Part of the amount was used to set up the Frontera Fund. The fund is destined to supporting the Hispanic community’s civil rights against abuse in the state of Arizona.
Larkin learned that helping less fortunate people is important. He believes in helping Mexican immigrants seeking jobs as well as opportunities in the United States of America.
Larkin and Lacey have already distributed funds in helping nonprofit groups to defend Hispanic civil rights in the state. Racial profiling another issue that Larkin and Lacey are combating.
Lacey understands that individuals in Arizona are not in favor of persecuting migrants due to the fact that all Americans come from migrants. Due to these reasons, Larkin and Lacey support migrants.