Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are two Phoenix journalists on a mission. That mission? To see former sheriff Joe Arpaio placed behind bars for his crimes against migrants and his disgusting racial profiling practices.
Last year, they got close enough to taste victory, with Arpaio convicted for criminal contempt of court, and sentencing only weeks away.
However, it was at this time that President Donald Trump officially pardoned Arpaio, sparing him the cell. After blatantly ignoring court orders, stringently flouting the rights of migrants, and ordering the illegal arrest of Larkin and Lacey, Arpaio will not be served justice.
A Criminal Walks the Streets
Arpaio has had a long history of struggle with the law. He’s no stranger to controversy either, openly flaunting his hate for immigrants, and his distaste for what he calls “dirty” Mexicans. However, he’s also no stranger to the president, in fact, he’s been one of Trump’s closest allies since before he had even taken the GOP nomination.
This has served him well and netted him a reprieve from justice after his long feud with Larkin and Lacey. For years, Larkin and Lacey had uncovered the horrifying deeds of Arpaio, from prison camps that Arpaio himself compared to concentration camps to the creation of gangs to round up immigrants. Arpaio certainly knew how to skirt the law.
But Arpaio also knew politics, and this served him far better than his transgressions ever did. From his initial endorsement of Trump and his sudden adoption of racist and violent philosophies, Arpaio earned the admiration of the far right and the protection of the president. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
He couldn’t be touched, and he knew it. While he did lose out on his seventh term, he’ll walk a free man, and he may never have to answer for his crimes. But Larkin and Lacey aren’t a pair to give up the fight, and they will keep going until he’s behind bars.
Arpaio Earns Two Lifelong Enemies
The self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has often had his repulsive deeds laid bare by Larkin and Lacey via their paper, the Phoenix New Times. So it was only a matter of time until, like an enraged bulldog, he clamped down on their necks.
In 2007, during the dead of night, he sent his gangs to the homes of Larkin and Lacey, stuffing them into the back of unmarked vans with Mexican plates, and smuggling them into Arpaio’s infamous jails.
However, this attempt to silence his critics got out and Arpaio came under relentless fire from the media as well as the public, forcing him to release the two journalists less than a day later.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
After the abhorrent abuse of power Arpaio displayed with the arrest, Larkin and Lacey filed suit, and, after several years, walked away with a $3.75 million settlement.
The pair used the settlement to create the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, a nonprofit solely dedicated to providing grants for organizations which protect human and migrant rights throughout the state of Arizona.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Continue Fight for Latino Rights after Pardoning of Joe Arpaio
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin on the Enduring Sins of Joe Arpaio, America’s Worst Sheriff
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: utilizing the First Amendment Rights
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin both attended the Arizona State University but dropped out before finishing their degree. In the year 1972, the two partnered to amend the journal of the university campus and transform it into their sustainable business enterprise. They called their paper New Times. Michael Lacey was tasked with the executive editing of the article while Jim Larkin was the head of the advertisement segment of the paper. Their paper grew as it featured various political as well as social matters in the nation. In the year 1983 New Times added Westword which is a weekly newspaper dealing in news & arts on their roster of publications. Others include Miami New Times as well as LA Weekly.
In the year 2007, the two were arrested because of their article that revealed the subpoenas done in the court system was a target to the editors and writers as well as the readers of the newspaper. This arrest was ordered and done by the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona called Joe Arpaio. The charges were later dropped after a public plea and outcry. The county then paid the two for a wrongful arrest years later with which they used the money to start Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund whose sole purpose was to help the Latin-American residents in Arizona. They later founded Village Voice Media Holdings. The two had a strong commitment to their First Amendment rights. This catapulted the company’s reputation for being a well-respected newspaper covering lifestyle articles as well as arts, food and investigative aspects. In the year 2012, the two sold their company and ventured into a new online publication called Backpage.com after which they sold it three years later. Their current work is in their late publication the Front Page Confidential where they have once again shown their urge and commitment to their First Amendment rights and issues as well as the right of free press.