The night of October 18th, 2007 two reporters, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, were arrested on charges of revealing details of a Grand Jury investigation. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
The two put a story in the paper Phoenix New Times, owned by their media company Village Voice, about a secret Grand Jury called by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. What they didn’t know was that the Grand Jury they were revealing to the public was investigating them, Larkin and Lacey.
The reporters had been running stories critical of Arpaio’s policies and actions as Sheriff for some time. Arpaio had apparently had enough and formed a secret Grand Jury to look into the men with the aim of silencing their reporting.
They accused Arpaio of mistreating minorities and women while in custody, profiling anyone who looked Hispanic and various other violations of the law, including revealing some unsavory details about mistreatment and death in Arpaio’s tent city detention facility, which stored inmates and even simple detainees in tents in the Arizona desert. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
These complaints were addressed behind closed doors for years to keep them from the public eye, but Lacey and Larkin’s reporting helped bring them to light. Arpaio nonetheless continued his policies of discrimination, even when told to cease by a Federal judge in court in 2011.
Though they were detained, separately, for 24 days, the charges against Lacey and Larkin were dropped and Arpaio’s abuses of power were made international news during their stay. The charges were dropped and Arpaio, after losing re-election in 2016 and facing charges himself, found himself on the other side of the law.
He was found guilty, but was pardoned by President Donald Trump. Arpaio was one of the first to endorse Trump’s ear;y campaign and many feel he was attempting to curry favor in advance of a conviction. Arpaio is currently running for one of Arizona’s Senate seats.
Lacey and Larkin continue to keep their eye on Arpaio and report on his activities since his pardon. Arpaio has become a hero figure among Trump supporters and continues to need reporting.
After receiving a settlement from the County after their 24 days in custody the two reporters began the Frontera Fund with the money. Frontera works to help protect the first amendment rights of everyone, particularly Latinos in Arizona where Arpaio’s policies and officers did a great deal of harm to the Latino community.