It’s always inspiring to read about people overcoming great odds and doing something charitable for others. That’s the kind of story that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin told after their numerous abusive encounters with a local sheriff. Eventually, the situation ended with a lawsuit against Maricopa County, which the duo won.
Their suit was filed after Sheriff Arpaio had them arrested for publishing stories about him. They were awarded $3.75 million, which they used to create the Frontera Fund.
The fund supports local groups that advocate for civil and migrant rights along the Mexican border.
According to Lacey and Larkin, their lawsuit wasn’t a victory for them. It was a victory for freedom of speech and local Latinos. Since the early 70s, the duo has fought the ultra-conservative viewpoints of Arizonan residence. Their first newspaper, the Phoenix New Times, has a long-standing reputation for investigative reporting.
They’re also the co-founders of Village Voice Media, a multimillion-dollar media conglomerate with a national reputation for respectable sophistication. Since their traumatizing events with the sheriff, they’ve sold Village Voice Media and focused on their Frontera Fund.
They’ve been supporters of migrant rights for a very long time and hope to continue in the future. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co
They arrested proved to be instigated by Sheriff Arpaio. He’d been trying to destroy the duo and their newspaper for months. On October 18, 2007, he finally crossed a line that he couldn’t come back from. He sent his feared “Selective Enforcement Unit” to arrest Lacey and Larkin. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey
That statement sounds just as crooked as it actually was. The armed deputies dragged Lacey and Larkin from their Phoenix-area homes in the middle of the night.
Both men were forced into unmarked vehicles with tinted windows and Mexican license plates. Then, they were taken to different jails miles away from each other and not allowed any phone calls. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter
The sheriff used the time he had them to pressure them into giving up with writers and editors and the names of their readers. Sheriff Arpaio wanted everything they had on him and the personal information of anyone who’d read anything published about him by New Times.
When the nation found out what Arpaio was doing, there was immediate outrage. Lacey and Larkin were released the next day and wrote all about their face-to-face with Sheriff Arpaio. It’s a surprise that their lawsuit was settled in 2013, six years after the event.