Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are two editors, and publishers of their won newspapers, The Village Voice Media, The Phoenix New Times, and are co-founders of the Front Page Confidential. Larkin and Lacey have experienced the tyranny of a man considered as the worst sheriff in American history, Joe Arpaio.
Elected as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona in 1992, Joe Arpaio was one to take the law into his own hands. He led a corrupt office with his hand picked partners in crime along side him. During his tenure as sheriff, he had been accused by many of violating the civil, and human rights of many of the latinos in the county. The most common complaint was of racial profiling.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had published reports of the accusations, and there was finally an investigation launched by the court system. Much evidence had been obtained against him, and the grand jury was investigating also. Larkin and Lacey published a story about the grand jury investigation of Joe Arpaio, and because of this they were unlawfully arrested.
Joe Arpaio, and the Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit arrived at the homes of Larkin and Lacey in the middle of the night on October 18, 2007. The Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit were all disguised in non regulatory vehicles with Mexican license plates. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were handcuffed, and taken to the county jail.
The sheriff, Joe Arpaio, had a bad reputation for arresting people for no logical reason, and keeping them in jail for days. Maricopa County has mostly Latino, and Hispanic residents, and all of them were under scrutiny by the sheriff.
Larkin and Lacey were released after a few hours, but their most inalienable right had been violated. Joe Arpaio had gotten tired of the newspaper exposing everything that was done by his department. Although there was an ongoing investigation already in progress, Larkin and Lacey filed suit against the sheriff, and the county of Maricopa, Arizona.
The entire story and ordeal was recapped recently, after Joe Arpaio was sentenced then pardoned by President Trump. This brought Arpaio back into the limelight. all of his under handedness, his blatant violations of the rights of others, and his morbid mistreatment of the Latinos in the county of his jurisdiction.
It was a landmark law suit that brought about the downfall of Joe Arpaio. He had won the election for sheriff six times, and served for twenty four years. His reign of terror started to end in 2011 when a United States district court judge issued an injunction against him.
After the illegal detainment of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, they initiated what would become a long legal battle. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the pair were arrested without probable cause.
They received a $3.7 million dollar settlement from the Maricopa County in 2013. Rather than keep all of the money for themselves, they set up the Frontera Fund, an organization that would help support the rights of Latinos, and other groups whose rights were violatedTrinaS on .