The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund has over the years become very instrumental in the fight for immigrant rights with a special focus on the Hispanic community. The founders of the Frontera fund Jim Larkin and Micheal Lacey have been very instrumental in getting justice for immigrants who otherwise would not have been able to get recourse for the injustices they have had to endure.
The two who are former journalists and founders of the Phoneix New Times before they sold it to the current owner had over the years witnessed the form and level of injustices that were meted on Hispanics and as such were willing to go the extra mile to fight for them.
The two had in fact been victims of a system that allowed a rogue sheriff to make illegal arrests and detentions with little regard for the law. They were arrested on the night of August 24th, 2007, hurried bundled into unmarked cars and driven into the sheriff’s ran jails.
These arrests were the culmination of a vendetta that the sheriff had long held against the two for publishing stories focusing on the sheriff and how he had turned his department into a racial profiling outfit. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
The sheriff had been toying with the idea of arresting the two for a long time and when what seemed like a perfect opportunity for him he would not resist the urge.On that fateful day, the paper had published an article focusing on sheriff Joe Arpaio titled “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution” had focused on a number of issues and the threats to them by the sheriff were an assault to there first amendment rights.
The contents of this article also focused on a subpoena that was overreaching and meant to intimidate its closing line read as follows “ DISCLOSURE OF ANY MATTER ATTENDING A GRAND JURY PROCEEDING, INCLUDING YOUR RECEIPT OF OR COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SUBPOENA, IS A CRIME.” This was the move the sheriff had been dreaming for and as soon as word reached him that in fact the contents of the same had been revealed he quickly assembled a team and tasked it will affecting the arrest.
What followed, the sheriff had not anticipated, brought together by his actions, various publications including the Washington Post, New York Times and USA today they all came out condemning the actions of the sheriff and the apparent assault of the first amendment rights. The sheriff had not considered this and it meant that when the pressure became too much for him, he had no alternative but to release them and dropping all the charges.
For Lacey and Larkin though the damage had already been done and it was now clear how far the sheriff was willing to go to make his word law. The duo brought on a lawsuit targeting the sheriff and his entire department.
The case would drag on for years with each side tasked with justifying the merit of there case ninth district court of appeals eventually ruled that indeed the sheriff had been wrong and as such liable.