Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin thought that Sheriff Joe Arpaio was finally going to face the music when he ended up being convicted of criminal contempt. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, because President Trump pardoned him for the conviction, and it’s possible it had something to do with the fact that Arpaio loudly supported his birther accusations against President Obama.
While people were happy to see the Sheriff lose his bid for another reelection, they were extremely upset when he didn’t have to pay any consequences for the harm he had caused during his time spent as Sheriff.
Joe Arpaio was known to do anything within and beyond his scope of allowed powers to combat illegal immigration.
The problem with this approach is that he ended up violating the civil rights of many of the people he blamed for America’s own issues. In 2011, a judge in the U.S. district Court issued a preliminary injunction against the Sheriff as well as the Sheriff’s Office, which directed them to stop racially profiling Latino drivers.
This did nothing to stop the profiling and other actions that continued to occur, but in 2013 a ruling against him and the Sheriff’s Office cemented the fact that Arpaio had, indeed, violated the earlier ruling. Even though Arpaio was adamant that he didn’t understand the previous ruling, which was very clear, this led to his conviction. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
The story doesn’t end there, and this is where Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin come in. Many people did not know that behind the scenes there was even more going on. Sheriff Arpaio’s crimes had been featured over and over in the Phoenix New Times.
Instead of giving up on the matter when friends of Arpaio’s in the county attorney’s office sent out a grand jury subpoena that would give them information about the people who worked at the paper, the Phoenix New Times put out an expose. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Michael Lacey | LinkedIn
The article was huge, and Arpaio wouldn’t let it go. Instead, he sent in armed deputies to the homes of Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin and took them to two separate jails that he managed. The illegal detaining of the two men caused so much uproar that they were released the very next day.
After a long battle in court it was determined that their arrest was illegal and that it was clear that Arpaio had sent his men out to get rid of his critics.
Maricopa County then had to pay $3.7 million in settlement money to Lacey and Larkin, but instead of keeping the money, the reporters set up the Frontera Fund. This organization now offers help to Latinos and Hispanics who have felt the effects of discrimination.
Jim Larkin has commented that it was the lessons he learned early in life, which taught him to help the downtrodden and poor, that inspired him to get on the side of Mexican immigrants.
To this day, the Frontera Fund is donating money to causes and non-profits that make life easier for those who being discriminated against.