Do you stand up for what you believe in? As America becomes more polarized many people are keeping quiet while those on the extremes fight for prominence. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://angel.co/michael-lacey-3 and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/
The time we are in, however, is not a time to be quiet. While it is scary to stand up in a culture of intimidation, now is the time to fight for your beliefs. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin stood for their beliefs and made a difference in this time of extreme opinions.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are natives of Maricopa County, Arizona. They deal with Sheriff Joe Arpaio on a daily basis. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been widely proclaimed as America’s Toughest Sheriff because of his treatment of immigration in Maricopa County, Arizona. However, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin discovered there is no reason to use this term as one of endearment.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin found evidence that Sheriff Joe Arpaio had intentionally sowed the seeds of racism throughout the Maricopa County Police Department. He accomplished this in a few ways. He took the files of those in his police force and looked over them.
Any officer that did not have a racial bias toward Hispanics was canned. Arpaio then replaced them with racist officers. In addition to this, he informed the police force that they would receive monetary bonuses based on how many illegal Hispanic immigrants they jailed.
When Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin discovered this, they were angry, but their next discovery made them furious. They eventually found out that Arpaio purposefully contaminated his jail cells so that Hispanics placed in them would get sick. Once they were ill, Arpaio refused to give them medical assistance. Several died because of this.
What would you do if you saw such injustice? Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin decided to speak out through their media channels. Sheriff Joe Arpaio however, decided to retaliate when this information was released.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio went into the homes of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin and illegally detained them. However, as the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. News of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s illegal detention spread throughout the nation’s media like a fire destroying a forest.
As the news spread, the pressure was so great that Sheriff Joe Arpaio had to let the two men go. A resulting lawsuit gave Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin $3.75 million.
Larkin and Lacey Launch New Endeavors
The two entrepreneurs that founded what would later become the media conglomerate Village Voice Media have recently launch two other ventures. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have announced the formation of the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund. This fund was established from proceeds from their nearly $4 million lawsuit against the Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit stemmed from an unlawful arrest by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the couple in the middle of the night. The arrest was found to be a violation of the First Amendment and that Larkin and Lacey were unlawfully targeted because of political reasons.
The couple have also launched a news website that is dedicated to reporting on news that deals with the First Amendment and violations of free speech. The website is title Front Page Confidential and will focus on discovering free speech violations in law enforcement, government, and in corporate America through investigative reporting. Larkin and Lacey have decided to make the protection of the First Amendment their life’s work. After being wrongly arrested the pair is on a mission to make sure that what happened to them does not happen to anyone else. The two first began working together in the early 1970s when their first newspaper, Phoenix New Times.