Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have always been passionate about the people of Arizona. Recently, a subset of the population has seen a rise in prejudice and stereotyping. The migrant population of Arizona faces many challenges, but one of their biggest challenges was the tenure of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/
Lacey and Larkin’s former publication talks about the disgraced Sheriff in a recent article entitled “The Enduring Sins of Joe Arpaio: Newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Speak Out in Response to Donald Trump’s Pardon of America’s Worst Sheriff” by Stephen Lemons.
Lacey and Larkin spent their entire career adding a controlled contrast to the ultraconservative newspaper publications centered in Arizona. They saw the efforts of individuals like Arpaio, who use the system as a vehicle for their own agenda and greed.
At one point, Lacey and Larkin were even arrested by Arpaio’s Police Department after releasing information about a grand jury hearing they were expected to attend in their newspaper. This arrest was against their human rights and the pair sued the county, receiving $3.75 million. They use this money to found the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, which they use to further the cause of migrants living in Arizona. This fund is still heavily active today and is partnered with other programs nationally.
One of the biggest controversies surrounding Arpaio is his recent pardon. A judge found that Arpaio was in contempt of court and convicted him. Unfortunately, Arpaio did not serve a day in jail. President Donald J. Trump issued a pardon for the aging Sheriff to save him the humiliation of jail time. Many were upset with this decision, including Larkin and Lacey because Arpaio did not seem it to take the previous rulings against him seriously. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia andMichael Lacey | Crunchbase
In the class action lawsuit Melendres V. Arpaio, Arpaio was found to have engaged and directed his officers to engage in a horrendous amount of stereotyping that led to the harassment of countless citizens in Arizona. After being ordered to change his practices and report his actions to a court monitor, Arpaio failed to comply. While this normally would have landed him in prison, Arpaio is a free man.
It seems that the former Sheriff, famous for his tent cities and inmate neglect, had slipped through the fingers of the law once again. It is the hope that in the future Arpaio will pay for his crimes. Men like Larkin and Lacey; however, are working to erase the effects of bigots like Arpaio. In fact, as of 2016 Arpaio’s tent cities are no longer active. The current Sheriff has engaged in a campaign to tear them down.
Activists like Larkin and Lacey have banded together to create lasting change in a region that so desperately needs it. It is their hope that in the future, more individuals will come forward to help their fellow man. While some migrants residing in Arizona may be illegal, it seems all too easy to forget that they are also human beings. Larkin and Lacey will never forget that and will continue to fight for them.