Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were trying to use the power of the press to bring national exposure to the misdeeds of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona.
With their role as co-owners of Village Voice the two journalists, both residents of Arizona, had a front row seat to the show that was Joe Arpaio’s idea of enforcing the law. They put stories and as much proof as they could find into print and waited for someone to take notice. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/the-enduring-sins-of-joe-arpaio-michael-lacey-and-jim-larkin-speak-out-in-response-to-trumps-pardon-of-americas-worst-sheriff/ and http://releasefact.com/2017/09/jim-larkin-and-michael-lacey-continue-fight-for-latino-rights-after-pardoning-of-joe-arpaio/
Arpaio was being accused of rampant misconduct and blatant racism as he and his deputies engaged in racial profiling, excessive force, inhumane treatment, arresting U.S. citizens without charging them and many other misdeeds. Larkin and Lacey used their media outlets to try and bring this misconduct to the attention of the nation.
Though meeting with limited success for a time, Larkin and Lacey pressed on and kept reporting on him. When they found evidence of a secret Grand Jury and exposed it, they had no idea that, in a roundabout way, that would be the story that got it done.
Larkin and Lacey had no idea why there was a secret Grand Jury, just that it was another in a long line of shady dealings on Arpaio’s part. In truth Arpaio had called the Grand Jury to investigate Larkin and Lacey.
He hoped to find something he could put them jail over so they would stop reporting on him. When they exposed his Grand Jury investigation of them he saw a chance and charged them with tampering with the Grand Juries investigation. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
His deputies arrested the two in October of 2007 and they were held for 24 days. A judge finally reviewed the case and ordered it thrown out and the men released, also shutting down Arpaio’s Grand Jury. Arpaio was himself charged with criminal acts and found guilty before being pardoned by President Trump.
Arpaio lost his 2016 re-election for a seventh term as sheriff but has since begun a 2018 Senate campaign to represent Arizona in Washington, D.C.
When they were released Larkin and Lacey sued Maricopa County and won $3.7 million in damages.
They used this money to start Frontera Fund, a civil rights advocacy group that focuses on protecting Latinos from violations to their first amendment rights. The Latino community was impacted hardest by Arpaio and the two wanted to help repair some of that.