Just over a decade ago, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the founders of the New Times Media conglomerate, where arrested at their homes by the Selective Enforcement Units of Maricopa County, on the orders of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Read more: Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Make The List of Civil Rights Protectors | Philly Purge and Lacey and Larkin Speak Out on Trump Pardon of Arpaio | Phoenix New Times
From the time he was elected to office in 1992, Joe Arpaio and the newspapermen consistently butted heads, due primarily for their coverage of his overaggressive, and often unethical, policing tactics. When tensions had finally risen to this point, Sheriff Joe Arpaio alleged that Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had interfered with an ongoing grand jury investigation.
Unknown to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, they, along with the Phoenix New Times, were being investigated. Due to the unlawful nature of the arrest, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were released almost immediately, and a lawsuit would follow shortly thereafter. This lawsuit was a continuation of the many misdeeds that had been alleged toward Joe Arpaio throughout his career.
There had already been significant media coverage concerning Joe Arpaio’s jail, which, dubbed Tent City by the locals, was facility rife with inhumane conditions, as well as allegations of murder. After three years in court, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were awarded a settlement of nearly four million dollars, and they would later use these monies to initiate the Frontera Fund.
Joe Arpaio’s title as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” was one that referenced his bush-league tactics, and inhumane treatment of the citizens of Maricopa County, most notably, the Latino community.
In July of 2017, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County was charged with contempt of court during the Melendres trial, which, after failing to win reelection and losing the suit to Larkin and Lacey, left him in bad standing in the public arena. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and https://thenewsversion.com/2017/08/the-fall-of-sheriff-joe-arpaio-after-jim-larkin-and-michael-lacey-controversy/
Despite the long list of atrocious accusations, Joe Arpaio would eventually be granted a presidential pardon from Donald Trump, many believe due to his staunch support of the billionaire throughout the campaign process.
Over the course of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reign, the Latino community faced his blatantly racist policies, carried out by his officers, on a continuous basis.
With the help of human rights movements such as the Frontera Fund, which helps to protect the First Amendment Rights of the Latino community, in particular, the citizens of Maricopa County have worked to erase the horrors of Joe Arpaio’s time in office.