Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey are the co-founders of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, a local charitable organization in Arizona. The Frontera Fund fights against racial profiling and the rights of Hispanics and Latinos throughout Arizona.
It provides grants and endowments to migrant-rights organizations as well. The Frontera Fund was created with $3.75 million of settlement money received when the notorious Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio, unlawfully arrested Jim and Mike on October 17th 2007.
Joe Arpaio had been reelected six times as the county sheriff, because everyone was afraid to vote against him. Joe made threatened anyone who went against him or criticized his authority.
He blatantly committed offenses against the United States Constitution, abusing his powers and racially profiling migrants. Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey’s encounter with Joe Arpaio was the turning point in Joe’s tyrannous reign.
In 2007, Jim was the head of advertising and Mike was the Editor in Chief of the Phoenix New Times, a local newspaper in Arizona. Jim and Mike found out that Joe Arpaio had ordered grand jury subpoenas against everyone who was involved with the newspaper including, Phoenix New Times readers. This was a blatant violation of the First Amendment rights.
It was also discovered that the subpoenas were counterfeit as well. Jim and Larkin had been publishing the truth about the situation in the Maricopa County jail.
Immigrants were unlawfully arrested, beaten and some even died under Arpaio’s watch. Joe also ordered his officers to stop cars driven by Mexicans, which is blatant racial profiling, illegal and against the Constitutional rights of the people.
In response to the Phoenix New Times publishing’s, Joe ordered his posse of goons called the Selective Enforcement Unit to arrest Jim and Mike from their homes using unmarked SUV’s. This was an attempt to threaten and scare Lacey and Larkin, but due to a public outcry and unlawful arrest without probable cause both were freed within 24 hours. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
This situation led to a lawsuit that lasted more than four years. In 2012, Mike and Jim were awarded $3.75 million in settlement money due to their unlawful arrest. Joe on the other hand went free for some time until he was investigated for his involvement in several racial profiling cases and other illegal activity.
Joe was facing trial and would have spent many years behind bars, but recently President Trump officially pardoned Arpaio for his crimes. This means Joe wont spend anytime behind bars and will continue to impose his racist motives on the citizens of Arizona, but this time he will have to go through the Frontera Fund first.
Jim and Mike have always enjoyed journalism and the freedom of speech that allows them to publish the truth, even if it makes some people angry.
They will continue to protect the constitutional rights of everyone in America and recently they launched Front Page Confidential, which is a news website dedicated to conserving the First Amendment rights and the possible threats to the freedom of speech that people like Arpaio try to impose on the world.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: