Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were journalists in Arizona who were trying to expose the racial discrimination of the Maricopa County sheriffs department. The two men, who co-owned media outlet Village Voice, were trying to use the power of the press to make sure that the various, institutionalized violations of civil and even human rights by Maricopa sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies in the department.
By exposing him in the press, Larkin and Lacey were hoping enough attention would be given to Arpaio to get something done about him and his deputies.
The only person paying close enough attention to Larkin and Lacey’s efforts was Arpaio himself. He wanted to silence the two by putting them in prison, where he felt they would be ignored by the American people. Arpaio formed a Grand Jury in secret, without probable cause, to investigate the two journalists in an attempt to find a reason to lock them away.
Larkin and Lacey discovered the Grand Jury, though they did not discover why it was formed. They ran a story about Arpaio’s secret use of taxpayer funds, adding it to the pile of stories they’d already published on Arpaio.
Arpaio saw this particular story as his chance to deal with Larkin and Lacey. He ordered them arrested on charges of interfering with a Grand Jury investigation, resulting in both men being arrested at their respective homes on October 18th, 2007, right around dinner time.
Larkin and Lacey sat in jail for 24 days before being freed on a judges order, with the charges against them being thrown out and Arpaio’s secret Grand Jury being disbanded in the process. Larkin and Lacey sued the county and were victorious, turning their settlement money into Frontera Fund, which protects the civil rights of Americans, particularly the Latino community. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Larkin and Lacey continue on as journalists today, running a normal media business but also focused on Arpaio and his current activities as a candidate for the U.S. Senate representing Arizona.
Arpaio began this campaign after his failed 2016 bid for a seventh term as sheriff in Maricopa County. After this loss, Arpaio was found guilty of charges brought against him. He was pardoned by President Donald Trump and then began his Senate campaign.
Larkin and Lacey make sure to fact-check and expose Arpaio’s campaign trail propaganda that portrays him as innocent of all wrongdoings he has accused of.