DATE: January 30, 2018
Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin are a duo of journalists who are part of the team that owns and operates the Phoenix new times. They come from Maricopa County home to the self-declared toughest sheriff in America Joe Arpaio. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/ and https://about.me/jim_larkin
They come from the state of Arizona a border county that by its position means that it has a lot of Latino immigrants. Most of this are legally in the united states and those that are not, also deserve humane treatment from law enforcement but this is not how sheriff Joe Arpaio saw them as.
The sheriff had made it his life mission to make their life in Maricopa a living hell. He made random stop search and arrest his part-time job. He would do this so frequently on them that at some point it seemed that the community had come to accept it as part of life in the county.
The sheriff who has been in office since 1992 a record six terms was the embodiment of racism and blatant disrespect for the constitution especially human rights.
He also made it a habit to arrest those that he disagreed with. This meant that even his competitors in the political arena to him were targets. Jim and Michel, however, were not one of those that feared or cared for his tactics. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
They constantly wrote about his antics in their paper as the major media house gave him a wide berth considering him a small town sheriff with little to no consequence for the bigger picture.
The two however as members of this community understood the pain that detainees went through whenever the sheriff arrested them. The sheriff was so brutal that he would order the handcuffing of expectant mothers as they went to deliver especially if they were immigrants. He would ensure that he was a law upon himself.
He also had a very bad reputation of detainees dying in jails run by the sheriff under very suspicious circumstances. This were some of the areas that Michel and Jimcontinously reported on.this reporting did not go down well with the sheriff and at some point, he decided to have them arrested.
The arrested was coordinated by the sheriff himself and his team of deputies. The arrest was made at midnight and the duo were taken to separate jail cells. The outcry that followed there arrest is something the sheriff did not anticipate. The following day he would order their release but already the damage had been done.
Michael and Jim sued the sheriff and the county for the violation of there first amendment right. this would late be validated by the ninth circuit court of appeals. The five-year nightmare finally came to an end when the duo settled with the county for a sum of 3.75 million dollars.
The duo dedicated the entire amount towards founding the Frontera fund. This is a fund dedicated towards fighting for human rights especially those of the Hispanic community that suffered most under the sheriff during his tenure.
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