When the Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit showed up at the doors of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, it proved to be an event that would sum up the hot-blooded feud between the newspapermen and former Sheriff, Jim Arpaio.
Over the years, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey found themselves in a series of conflicts with Joe Arpaio, as tell of his inhumane practices and illegal misdeeds spread through their publication, Phoenix New Times.
Prior to their arrests on October 18, 2007, the Phoenix New Times had released information pertaining to an ongoing grand jury investigation, which, unbeknownst to Larkin and Lacey, included them. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Make The List of Civil Rights Protectors | Philly Purge
The former heads of New Times Media would spend less than 24 hours behind bars, as the district attorney refused to prosecute. It would later be revealed that Sheriff Joe Arpaio had Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey due to tensions that had been brewing since he was elected to office in 1992.
Dubbed “America’s Toughest Sheriff, Joe Arpaio had a long history of implementing unsavory practices, which would often prove to be discriminatory towards the Latino population of Maricopa County. The jail run by Sheriff Arpaio, known locally as “Tent City,” came into the national spotlight once rumors regarding the conditions of the facility surfaced. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
The culmination of these events would prove to play a roll in Joe Arpaio’s rapid fall, most notably regarding his failure to garner reelection, and a number of consecutive lawsuits. As if Joe Arpaio could sense that the end was nearing, he decided to align himself with Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.
The public support from Joe Arpaio came at a time in which many people didn’t believe that Donald Trump had a legitimate chance at the presidency.
In July of 2017, Joe Arpaio was formally charged with contempt court during the Melendres case – a charge that would have possibly led to prison time. In what would be his first, the President of the United States issued a presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, relieving him of the charges.
Despite having a new Sheriff in Maricopa County, the citizens of the area are still feeling the effects of the Joe Arpaio regime. After winning a $3.75 million settlement against Joe Arpaio, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey started the Frontera Fund, which is dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the citizens of Maricopa County, most notably, the Latino community.