Why Jim Larkin And Michael Lacey Slammed President Trump’s Pardon Of Joe Arpaio
It may not have surprised anyone but it did outrage various residents of Phoenix, Arizona when it was announced in 2017 that President Trump had pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from any wrongdoing he might be charged with resulting from charges brought against him by a district judge. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://michael-lacey.com/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
It especially upset journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey when they heard of this pardon because they had seen firsthand injustice done to people in the Latino immigrant communities.
Arpaio was also known for having inmates wear pink attire in the county jails, having certain offenders housed in a desert prison which had basically only tents for shelter and was known as Tent City. He also was known for using the power of his position to go after critics and rivals.
Larkin and Lacey have been highly critical of President Trump and his policies which have aligned at times with Arpaio’s. Their current news organization, the Frontera Fund was founded to be a platform for immigrants and for other human rights foundations around the world.
Part of their efforts have been to work with local, state and federal lawmakers on immigration reform and finding initiatives to help immigrant communities, and holding corrupt lawmakers and law enforcement agencies accountable.
Larkin and Lacey’s work began over 40 years ago during the Vietnam War, and they considered the work they did to be a voice for the activists, and it was part of the reason their original parent company was known as Village Voice Media.
Village Voice Media’s first big paper was the Phoenix New Times which the two men had dropped out of college to start in the early 1970s, and it grew from an underground newspaper into a broader independent news organizations.
The New Times branched far beyond Phoenix to having editions circulating in Florida, Colorado and California among other places. It offered a lot of different perspectives on major issues from the Vietnam War all the way to the attacks of 9/11.
Larkin and Lacey had always had a highly contentious battle with Sheriff Arpaio since the time he took office in 1992, but it was in 2007 that it reached its height.
An issue involving a real estate purchase by Arpaio through which it seemed he had received mysterious funding was being looked at by a Phoenix New Times Reporter, and Arpaio started coming down on him, and subsequently Larkin and Lacey themselves for publishing information on the case. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
They were jailed and subjected to what a local judge deemed improbable cause and insufficient grounds to hold them, and after a formal hearing it was announced that all charges were dropped. Larkin and Lacey decided it was time to fight back against the abuse of power, and they began a lawsuit that lasted several years.
By 2013, the Maricopa County board of supervisors awarded them a settlement of $3.75 million and Larkin and Lacey used the funds from that to start the Frontera Fund. The foundation has grown into quite a large-scale operation.