Larkin And Lacey Turned The Table On America’s Most Notorious Sheriff

Widespread public outrage and condemnation broke out across America last August when President Donald Trump announced that he would issue a full pardon to a notorious convicted felon — the former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio had been found guilty of criminal contempt for the way he arrested, harassed and jailed undocumented immigrants. Under the direct orders of Sheriff Arpaio, Maricopa County deputies engaged in rampant racial profiling of anyone they suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. They often stopped and harassed even ordinary American citizens if they so much as looked to be of Hispanic heritage. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/the-enduring-sins-of-joe-arpaio-michael-lacey-and-jim-larkin-speak-out-in-response-to-trumps-pardon-of-americas-worst-sheriff/

Violating the U.S. Constitution was nothing new to Arpaio. In 2007, in a brazen disregard for the 1st Amendment, Sheriff Arpaio ordered the arrest of two Phoenix-based media men — Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey — owners of Village Voice Media.

Village Voice is a chain of alternative, weekly newspapers operating in many locations across America. It’s flagship operation was the Phoenix New Times. It was articles published in this newspaper that raised the ire of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and pushed him over the edge. He sent a squad of his goons in unmarked police vehicles to the homes of Larkin and Lacey in the middle of the night. The two men were summarily arrested and tossed in jail.

Public outrage soon followed. The arrest of two journalists who were just doing their jobs was too much even for some of Sheriff Arpaio conservative, anti-immigrant supporters. Larkin and Lacey won their release from jail and charges were dropped.

But the media men decided to sue Maricopa County for the outrageous actions of Sheriff Arpaio – -and they won. A Federal Court of Appeals judge awarded Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey a whopping $3.7 million in damages.

It was then that the two venerable media men decided to do something special. Rather than just pocket the millions they had just been awarded, they used the money to establish the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund, a nonprofit social action organization dedicated to helping the very groups that were persecuted by Sheriff Arpaio. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

The bitter irony for the criminally convicted Sheriff of Maricopa County was that his brutal police tactics had actually produced a huge source of aid and comfort for the very people he had treated with such cruel disregard.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had spoken truth to power, fought “The Man” in court and struck a blow for the “Good Guys” in one of the most legendary incidents in Arizona history.

Comments are closed.