Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, two Arizona journalists that co-own media outlet Village Voice, spent years trying to get some national attention onto Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department for their rampant and ongoing violations of the rights of Latinos and others. Larkin and Lacey had a front row seat for the actions of the sheriffs department, and used their position as journalists to try and expose Arpaio’s misdeeds.
They were meeting with little success when they discovered that Arpaio had formed a Grand Jury ecretly for unknown reasons, but was still costing the Maricopa taxpayers a pretty penny. They ran a story about it, which was a move Arpaio attempted to capitalize on. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
Unknown to Larkin and Lacey, the Grand Jury was formed specifically to help Arpaio put the two in prison. When they exposed the Grand jury that they didn’t know was investigating them, Arpaio stuck, charging them with interfering with an investigation and arresting the two men on October 18th, 2007, just after dinner time.
Arrested for exercising their freedom of the press, Larkin and Lacey spent 24 days in prison. A judge eventually threw out the charges against them, disbanded the Grand Jury Arpaio had formed, and set the men free. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Speak Out on Trump Pardon of Arpaio | Phoenix New Times and Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Make The List of Civil Rights Protectors | Philly Purge
With a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit successful against the county, Larkin and Lacey founded Frontera Fund. Frontera is a non-profit civil rights advocacy charity that focuses primarily on the first amendment rights of Latinos, the group most effected by Arpaio’s department.
After the lawsuit, Arpaio lost his reelection bid in 2016, denying him a seventh term as sheriff. He was tried himself and found guilty; before his sentencing hearing he was pardoned of all wrongdoing by President Donald Trump, who used his first-ever pardon to free Arpaio.
Arpaio then announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate, a campaign that is struggling with little chance of victory. He has been endorsed by Trump, who Arpaio also endorsed in 2016. Many see their relationship as a blatant favors-for-favors political alliance being displayed for all.
Larkin and Lacey went back to their lives and careers as journalists, continuing to report on all news but very willing to speak out about and against Arpaio. They counter the propaganda of his Senate bid with fact-checks and eyewitness reports, making sure the people of Arizona know the truth about his record despite his claims of innocence and conspiracy.