Jim Larkin will remain on record as one of the bravest journalists in the story of Maricopa County, alongside his colleague, Michael Lacey. The two found themselves in a very risky situation when they disclosed the administrative issues of the county during the administration of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The sheriff had been known for his notoriety and brutality since he joined office, especially to the immigrants’ groups.
The communities of the Latinos and the Hispanics were the main targets of his oppression, and hence they could suffer throughout his regime. No one could dare to speak on their behalf due to the intimidation and the severe threats that the sheriff had put on the people of Maricopa.
The media was also held hostage by the officers of Arpaio by arresting any media personality who attempted to speak negatively about the sheriff. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Speak Out on Trump Pardon of Arpaio | Phoenix New Times
After continued suffering and endurance by the targeted communities, Jim and Michael decided that they would sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the immigrants. They decided to bite the bullets and liberate the Hispanics and their counterparts, the Latinos. This was a brilliant decision, but it came with a series of consequences.
However, they were ready for the aftermath as long as they achieved their objective of liberating the immigrants. The two gentlemen jointly owned a newspaper that they called the Village Voice Media. One chilly morning, they compiled all the misdeeds and oppressive mechanisms of the sheriff and published them in the newspaper. Arpaio got very mad about the issue and ordered his boys to arrest the two journalists.
That same night, the police awoke them by heavy knocks on their doors in their homes in Phoenix, Arizona. They were dragged from their families and taken to the police headquarters where they were awaited by Sheriff Arpaio.
They were locked in the cells waiting to be executed in the morning that followed. Luckily, the news about their arrests went public before Arpaio could lay his hands on them. The public went wild demanding the sheriff to release Lacey and Jim, and after prolonged street demonstrations, Arpaio again ordered their release. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://thenewsversion.com/2018/03/larkin-lacey-speak-happened-joe-arpaio/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
However, a release was not enough for the two. They foresaw a situation where some other individuals would go through the same experience if they remained silent about it. To ensure that it ceased, they went to court and sued Arpaio for illegally detaining them.
Arpaio and the county of Maricopa were ordered to pay Jim and Lacy a total of $3.8 million to compensate for the wrongful arrest that they had endured.
After the payment was made, the journalists decided to use the funds in a way that would be of most assistance to the immigrants. The best way that they figured out was to set the fund that would assist other small firms that wished to support the fight for the fundamental rights of the oppressed communities. They formed the Frontera Fund, which until today has been a huge supporter of the fight for the rights of the minority and the marginalized groups.