Larkin & Lacey: Solidarity, Justice and Purpose

When journalists do more than publish stories, the public takes note. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are seasoned newspapermen and more. They have stood in solidarity with the oppressed and the discriminated-against in the society, sometimes making strong enemies with cracked philosophies like Joe Arpaio. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://michael-lacey.com/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey

Joe is one of the most controversial Sheriffs Maricopa County has ever had. No one was surprised when Susan Bolton validated President Trump’s pardon late 2017. Trump owed the former sheriff a favor after his vocal support to his so-called birther movement.

Building a Reputation

Arpaio got himself re-elected six times in Maricopa County, which he served for twenty-four years. He built his “illustrious” career by being a hardliner regarding illegal immigration. He believed the Latino and Hispanic people, who form a large part of the county’s population, were to blame for all the woes that plagued society. His view and resultant actions culminated in racial profiling, which prompted two judges, G. Murray Snow and Susan R. Bolton, to convict him for criminal contempt in two separate rulings.

The Expose by Phoenix New Times

Anyone who was courageous enough to criticize the sheriff became his enemy. The Phoenix New Times, a paper co-owned by Larkin and Lacey, had been vehemently criticizing Arpaio and his office for their transgressions over the years. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | LinkedIn

The paper was not going to get away with it. Arpaio’s’ allies in the county attorney’s office issued a subpoena requesting information about the newspaper’s editors, writers, and even readers. The paper did not cave in; instead, it published an expose.

Larking and Lacey Get Arrested

The expose made a huge splash. The sheriff had to do something real quick. Armed deputies from Arpaio’s Selective Enforcement Unit arrested Larkin and Lacey on 18 October 2007. They drove these two newspapermen away in nondescript SUVs and booked them into separate jails. The arrests were a big mistake; the outcry they sparked was so intense that the sheriff had to release Larkin and Lacey the same day.

Larkin and Lacey Head to the Courts

Obviously, Larkin’s and Lacey’s detention was illegal. The sheriff and his people had, without doubt, violated their First Amendment rights. What ensued was a drawn-out legal battle that ended up with the court siding with the journalists. The detention was without probable cause and therefore unjustified.

Fighting for Justice for All

Larkin and Lacey won a whopping $3.75 million as a settlement from the lawsuit. They decided to use the money to make a difference in the lives of those the system oppressed without cause. Kindness and a strong quest for justice drove these two people to form the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund supports groups and organizations fighting for the rights of Latinos and Hispanics throughout Arizona.

Larkin and Lacey have demonstrated what a determined spirit can do for others. They knew what they were getting themselves and their paper into, but nothing would stop them. They believe that all have the inalienable right to fair treatment, regardless of their ancestry.

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