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.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin
The place journalists who care for the people they talk to and about in the community cannot be replaced by anything or anyone. Journalists like Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin help keep the society in the know and also help keep track of the changes in the society. When the leaders, for instance abandon their good leadership and start targeting members of a certain community, the exposes these journalists do see the people question their leaders and keep them in line for the sake of peace and love. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have a passion for equity in the society.
Passion to see everyone have equal rights saw Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin begin the Frontera Fund. This is a foundation that supports the rights of immigrants and gives them a voice to air their concerns on different issues in the society. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin found this foundation using the money they got from their settlement from their court case with Joe Arpaio. Joe Arpaio, the state sheriff at the time, had ordered for their unlawful arrest.
His reason for arresting these two was because they had done an expose on the police force and his intention to arrest them based on false accusation. The piece they wrote caught the nation’s attention and upon they arrest, there was an outcry for their release. Once released, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin went to court and the result was a settlement of 3.75 million dollars. Money which they used to set up the Frontera Fund.
Their inspiration has been to help everyone feel at home in Arizona. This led them to do their exposes on those who target Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the state and expose the ways in which their rights are undermined. Their site, Front Page Confidential has enabled them to get these messages to their target audiences. This has gone a long way towards ensuring that the state remains the compelling place to live in as it always has been.