The Illegal Arrest of Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin

Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested and handcuffed on the evening of October 18, 2007, by arpaio, a sheriff at Maricopa County. The two human rights activists were forcibly evicted from Arizona and shoved into Mexican license plates and unmarked SUVs. Later on, they were detained in separate jails managed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Phoenix New Times, a newspaper that exposed these misdeeds has already outraged Sheriff Joe Arpaio popularly known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” The journal reported on Arpaio’s role in promoting political posturing and anti-Mexican fear-mongering in Arizona. In fact, as mainstream newspapers dismissed Arpaio’s misdeeds, Phoenix New Times reported on rampant financial mismanagement and irregularities in his office, unconstitutional detention and racial profiling of Latinos in Arpaio’s jails, mistreatment of prisoners, and substandard health conditions.

Lacey and Larkin were arrested for publishing a story in Phoenix New Times revealing how Arpaio’s allies at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office assaulted the Constitution by issuing an order seeking details about the newspaper’s writers and editors IP address and browsing history. Instead of disregarding subpoenas, Larkin and Lacey wrote about it. When asked why they were arrested, Larkin and Lacey didn’t hesitate to tell their jail mates it was because of “Writing.” Following a loud national outcry, the duo was released from prison in less than 24 hours with all their charges dropped.

The Duo Arraigned to the Court

The illegal detention of the two Village Voice Media executives paved the way for lawsuit centered on the abuse of human rights. In 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the issued jury subpoenas were invalid because the prosecutor had circumvented required legal procedures. In this case, the court ruled out that Lacey and Larkin were detained without probable cause. The ruling paved the way for Maricopa County to compensate Lacey and Larkin a $3.7 million settlement for illegal detention.

Consequently, Larkin and Lacey donated their settlement money to Frontera Fund, an initiative intended to benefit Latinos who have borne the brunt of civil rights abuses and racial discrimination in Arizona. Born in Arizona, Larkin learned the importance of giving back to less fortunate members of the society way back as a teenager. As such, Larkin looks forward to empowering and inspiring Mexican immigrants who have braved unimaginable perils as they travel to Arizona in pursuit of economic opportunity and well-paying jobs.

 

The Frontera Fund Published by Larkin and Lacey

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacy have continued the fight for the Latino community after the pardoning of one of its most adamant oppressors, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They have chosen the Frontera Fund as one of their vehicles to fight injustices against Latino peoples. Larkin and lacey used the $3.75 million won from a lawsuit stemming from a false arrest ordered by Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County. With the monies, Larkin and Lacey started the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

 

The Frontera Fund gives grants to Arizona’s migrant-rights organizations. It supports non-profit groups that back the rights of Latinos and Hispanics. To date, the fund has helped a variety of organizations help Latinos and Hispanics that have been discriminated against by law enforcement as well as public officials.

 

The Frontera Fund is news media that publishes articles directly related to the fund’s primary purpose. It publishes articles on Immigrant News and Social Media, the DACA/DREAM and Trump Watch. Some recent article titles include “Sessions Considers Increasing Immigration Court Backlog by 350,000”, “No More Deaths Volunteer Arrested Hours After the Group Accuses CBP of Systematic Sabotage of Humanitarian Efforts”, and “Joe Arpaio Promotes His Candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Discredited, Anti-Semitic Outlets”.

 

It’s clear the last title regarding Joe Arpaio‘s run for the Senate is troubling to Lacey and Larkin as it should be to every American who believes in freedom in this country. Joe Arpaio is not a leader who would properly protect and promote the articles of the Constitution. That’s what Frontera Fund fights to protect, the rights of Latinos and Hispanics. With Joe Arpaio in office that fight would probably need to extend beyond those groups to include everyone who isn’t white. Arpaio has already said he was proud to be included as an honorary KKK/White Supremist. It makes the thought of America’s future with that kind of Senator horrifying.