Every great battle has a tremendous climax that shatters all expectations. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s court battle against Maricopa County has one of the most outrageous climaxes of all time.
The details that came out during the lengthy trial revealed numerous hostile transgressions against Lacey, Larkin, and their newspaper. Read more: Michael Lacey | Facebook
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have 40-plus years in the news reporting business. They started their first company in the early 70s, Phoenix New Times. They eventually built a multimillion-dollar media conglomerate: Village Voice Media. That company, they sold a year before their court case was settled in 2013.
During the trial, the nation found out about all the horrible things that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had done to them. The entire case was due to Sheriff Arpaio’s attempt to shut up the media. He showed no regard for anyone’s constitutional rights if they came up against him.
The case ended with Lacey and Larkin being awarded a $3.75 million settlement, which they used to create the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund supports numerous groups that fight for civil, human, and migrant rights along the Mexican border. The fund also supports local groups that advocate for freedom of speech.
Honestly, the court battle happened because Sheriff Arpaio has a bad temper and hates when people put him in the spotlight. He’s not some overworked sheriff who made a few mistakes. There’s a plethora of evidence that shows he’s a racist bigot that loves systematically persecuting Latinos.
Despite being a man of the law, Sheriff Arpaio served a patriarchal role in much of Arizona’s anti-Mexican fear-mongering. He had numerous financial irregularities and often abandoned his management responsibilities in the sheriff office and the jails he managed. Some of his mismanagement skills led to the deaths of some jail inmates.
Regardless of all the horrible things he’d done, he still hadn’t legally crossed any lines yet. Legally, he didn’t cross the line until he had Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin arrested in the middle of the night. Even a child could tell that the arrests were unwarranted and unlawful. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737
The “Selective Enforcement Unit”, a controversial Arpaio-created deputies unit, pulled Lacey and Larkin from their homes and forced them into unmarked vehicles with Mexican license plates.
Arpaio had them taken to different jails, where he used fake subpoenas to try to force them into giving up the names of their editors and writers.