In October, 2007 Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies from the “Selected Enforcement Unit” arrested and jailed Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin, two journalists from the Village Voice Media. They were arrested at their homes. They were put in separate jails. The two men had written articles about Joe Arpaio and his handling of cases in Maricopa County, Arizona.
The Phoenix New Times where the two men worked made accusations about financial irregularities and misdeeds in the sheriff’s office. They reported on deaths in the jails, and attributed them to abuses that were taking place in them. The reports accused Arpaio of racial profiling and unauthorized detention of Latinos.
The journalists were arrested because of stories they had written on how Arpaio allies has issued grand jury subpoenas seeking information about writers, editors and even readers of the Phoenix New Times readers. They wanted browsing histories and IP addresses of people who read the published articles online. Lacey and Larkin refused to reply to subpoenas and instead published more articles revealing what was being asked for.
The two journalists were released from jail in less than 24 hours, and charges against them were dropped. The lawsuit against Maricopa County for the illegal detention, focused on the refusing of the journalists First Amendment rights and the abuse of power by Arpaio and associates.
In 2012, the Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit, claimed that the county was guilty of the charges of illegal detention and violating First Amendment rights of the journalists. The grand jury subpoenas had been improperly filed and were therefore illegal. The journalists had been arrested without due cause.
In 2013, Maricopa County settled the lawsuit by paying $3.7 million to Lacey and Larkin. The two used the settlement money to start the Frontera Fun. It is intended to benefit the Hispanic community in Arizona. The fund distributes money to nonprofit groups that advocate for civil rights and other causes of the Hispanic population. Lacey and Larkin are both supporters of immigrant rights and push efforts to help those you have crossed the borders in search of employment and a better life.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Intend to Stop Arpaio in his Tracks
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are two journalists from Arizona. The duo made national headlines after an altercation with former sheriff Joe Arpaio. People all over the nation were reading about their illegal arrest in publications like USA Today and The New York Times.
Arpaio must have been very uncomfortable in the national spotlight, especially since the arrest of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin was over something they published in their paper, The Phoenix New Times. Arpaio went from local corrupt politician to a nationally known figure of political corruption.
This was the first time Arpaio ever bullied people who could fight back. As sheriff, Arpaio victimized the immigrant community for over 20 years. As soon as he illegally detained Lacey and Larkin, his actions were put on notice.
The outcry from the nation resulted in Lacey and Larkin being released in under 24 hours and a lawsuit filed against Joe Arpaio and the county that elected him. Lacey and Larkin went on to win almost 4 million dollars.
With the money gained from Maricopa County, Larkin and Lacey decided to provide relief for the immigrants of Arizona. They created The Frontera Fund, a charitable fundraiser that supports charities like the ACLU of Arizona and many others.
Along side The Frontera Fund, Lacey and Larkin are using their new newspaper called Front Page Confidential to spread awareness of the injustices committed by politicians like Arpaio. Lacey and Larkin are working overtime to ensure that Arpaio doesn’t win the Senate Seat he is running for in November of 2018.