One-Sided Justice: Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s Alliance with the ACLU of Arizona

The Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was established in 1959 when local members questioned whether the people of their community were receiving the best representation.

Since that time, it has been a powerhouse in the legal community, extending help to those individuals that it feels have experienced a gross miscarriage of justice leading to the violation of their human rights.

Their mission is not only to be a watchdog in Arizona but to defend the people that need them the most. This is typically a minority population and in Arizona, migrants are still experiencing a lot of prejudice today.

The ACLU sees this behavior in law enforcement practices and other organizations on a regular basis. They refuse to stand by and watch while migrants and their families are denied basic human rights.

The ACLU has always been a pioneer when it comes to challenging the way that people are being treated, especially in the legal system. They directly contributed to the formation of the Miranda Rights with their case that questioned the validity of a state law that banned interracial marriages in 1960.

This big win straight off the formation of their chapter gave them the traction they needed to challenge more laws and unjust situations. The federal class-action lawsuit filed against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office was another big win for the Arizona chapter.

After the police department showed signs of blatant racial profiling to enforce immigration laws, they were brought to justice for their terrible behavior. In 2007 the judge issued an order that prevented Arpaio from enforcing immigration and implanted a monitor within their department to add further checks.

Unfortunately, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin had their own rights violated by Arpaio’s police department. Lacey and Larkin are the founding members of the Phoenix New Times.

When they printed something about the possibly corrupt police department, they were arrested and held. This was not only a violation of their freedom to express themselves, but it indicated a gross miscarriage of justice within the department.

Arpaio did not consider that his actions would be a violation at the time. After their release, Lacey and Larkin were awarded 3.75 million dollars. They made a joint decision to filter that money back into organizations such as the ACLU of Arizona through the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

The specifically wanted to help the migrant population with their winnings. This win against sub-par justice and corruption was just the first step in Lacey and Larkin’s new mission to help ensure equality in Arizona.

Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin:

http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/

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