In 2007 Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested in their homes under the orders of Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The pair operated the Phoenix New Times, a newspaper that spoke out against the actions of Arpaio. Today the two are speaking out again against Arpaio, this time in response to President Trump’s pardoning of the disgraced sheriff.
Michael Lacey, a New Jersey native, created the Phoenix New times with some fellow students after he dropped out of the University of Arizona in 1970.
Jim Larkin, who had also dropped out of Arizona State University joined the paper in 1972. Larkin quickly began to take charge of the advertising portion of the journalism business while Lacey stood as executive editor. Read more: Michael Lacey | Facebook and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
The arrests of Lacey and Larkin came as a response to years of them exposing corruption and crimes committed by Joe Arpaio and his staff. In 2007 a lawsuit was filed against Arpaio, accusing him of racial profiling.
A judge ordered Arpaio to change his practices, an order which he ignored. In 2017 Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring these orders but was pardoned by President Trump before seeing any jail time.
Lacey and Larkin were upset with this decision by the president and began to speak out against Arpaio once again.
Arpaio had long feuded with the Phoenix New Times, threatening to arrest reporters, keeping them from attending press conferences, and refusing to provide the paper with county records. In 2004, Lacey and Larkin exposed a series of corrupt dealings performed by Joe Arpaio and his wife, the action that likely lead to their arrests.
The arrests of the reporters became national news within a number of hours, and they were released within 24 hours.
The two want to make sure people are aware of Arpaio’s crimes, which include inhumane treatments of prisoners in prisons he ran. He forced prisoners to live in tents in 135 degrees Fahrenheit weather, ordered guards to physically beat disobedient prisoners, and chained expectant mothers in the prisons to their hospital beds while they gave birth.
Lacey, Larkin, and many others are appalled that they former sheriff will not be imprisoned for his crimes, and they want to bring attention to the corruption that is still occurring both on the state and federal levels.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin currently operate the Fontera Fund, which advocates for civil rights, and the rights of immigrants.