Jim Larkin teamed up with Michel Lacey after dropping from Arizona State University in 1972. The two started writing for Phoenix New Times which came to the fore as an answer to the conservative local media that was covering anti-war protests. Read more: Jim Larkin | Twitter and Michael Lacey | Twitter
Lacey held the position of the executive editor while Larkin was the head of the advertising department. The paper prominence grew as it explored a variety of both political and social issues.
While still working for Phoenix times, Lacey and Larkin were jailed on 18 October 2007 for writing about grand jury and revealing that it targeted Phoenix New Times writers and editor. This according to them was an insult to the constitution of the United States of America. Apparently, this arrest was orchestrated by Joe Arpaio.
Joe was a sheriff of Maricopa County but was a notorious anti-immigrant sheriff. The arrest was meted with a public outcry that resulted in the dropping of the charges.
Also, the subpoenas were quashed and it brought the Grand Jury inquiry to an end. Further investigation showed that the grand jury warrant was counterfeit and the prosecutor issued it after bypassing legal safeguards.
Lacey and Larkin brought a lawsuit for the wrongful arrest and they were paid $3.75 million as a settlement fee. This is the money the two used to establish a Frontera Fund whose objective was to raise funds and use the proceeds to settle the Latin Americans in Arizona.
They established a village Voice Media Holding which specialized in carrying out investigations and reporting the same in the magazine.
It was during this time that the Latino community was being harassed and undermined by the police officers under Arpaio who implemented the racist policies. It was hard to fight and oppose the policies because Arpaio’s supporters really rallied around the Sherriff and defended him as they painted him a crusader who could remove illegal immigrants from Arizona.
Human rights instituted many cases and rallied around Latino Community as they swore to continue protecting them. One of the organization was the one run by Lacey and Larkin. It is called Frontera Fund and its work is to help the Latinos protect the amendment rights.
The fund has viciously fought rhetoric of Arpaio and has made it difficult for him to discredit the opposition. They rallied behind supporters to deny Arpaio the votes he needed to win the seventh term in office as a Sherriff. They also pushed against rhetoric that made Arpaio to be charged with criminal contempt in 2017. Arpaio has received President Trump’s pardon, but it is now clear that his agenda has been checked.
It should be remembered that Arpaio was able to read the political wind in 2016 during Trump’s campaign endorsing his candidacy. He did this at the time when it was not certain that the billionaire would secure GOP nomination. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lacey-larkin-speak-out-on-trump-pardon-of-arpaio-9879938 and http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/
The endorsement endeared him to Trump and it is believed to have influenced the pardon even though Lacey believes that he was pardoned because he is viewed by nationalists as a hero.