Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the co-founders of the Phoenix New Times and the Village Voice Media which was a very successful newspaper read by many Americans. Despite their very successful business as journalists and executives, they did end up facing a significant challenge and making enmity with the Sheriff of Arizona state, Joe Arpaio. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikepedia and Jim Larkin | Twitter
The problem was caused by an article that was published by Lacey and Larkin in the Phoenix New Times which aimed at exposing the sheriff’s continued abuse of power and office.
Joe Arpaio had gotten fed up by the constant need for reporters targeting his department looking to expose him for one thing or the other. This particular article revealed the existence of a Grand Jury which sought out reporters’ notes on articles covering the sheriff’s department.
Lacey and Larkin would later get arrested at night for releasing such information to the public. A public outcry ensued after they learned of the arrest and it became instrumental in their release 24 hours later.
Having been detained wrongfully and their First Amendment rights abuse by Joe Arpaio led the two gentlemen to sue the sheriff as well as anyone else who aides in their arrest. A long battle ensues from the lawsuit, and five years later Lacey and Larkin won and got a $3.75 million settlement.
Meanwhile, fed up with Arpaio’s leadership, the people decided to join in the right against his rhetoric and help protect Latino and Hispanic communities which has become the brunt of Joe Arpaio’s legacy.
Many human rights movements began to form, both regionally and nationally with the aim of providing as much protection and help to the immigrant groups, Latino and Hispanic people. Larkin and Lacey used the money to form and run the Frontera Fund, a non-profit organization that provides grants to movements and other organizations working to reverse the damage done by Arpaio.
The events that gave rise to the settlement began back in 2004 when John Dougherty, a reported of the Phoenix New Times questioned the sheriff’s real estate dealings, and where he got the funds to run these dealings and still manage to own other half dozen commercial properties.
He also questioned why the sheriff’s records of those properties were hidden from public access. Dougherty wondered where a mere civil servant would get that much money.
Arpaio did not take such allegations lightly. He went on to hold a two-year long campaign to have the newspaper and its reporters and editors prosecuted for putting him and his family in danger by disclosing his home address online. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://james-larkin.com/
However, the attorney found no basis to sue because the column revealing the address had been published two years back and nothing had happened to Arpaio or his family.
Though Joe Arpaio never went to jail for all the crimes he committed, he was never re-elected into office after he ran for the sheriff position again. This goes to show that people were now more aware of how much he abuses office and they wanted better for themselves.