The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund was introduced due to an incident that occurred on October 18th of 2007. The Maricopa County Sheriffs office sent armed deputies to arrest Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. These deputies were part of a Selective Enforcement Unit instigated by Sherriff Joe Arpaio.
Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey were executives at Village Voice Media and they were removed by force from their homes in the Phoenix area. They were then forced into SUV’s with no markings, Mexican license plates and windows deliberately tinted dark. The jail cells they were eventually sent to were under the management of Sherriff Joe Arpaio.
The Sherriff was directly responsible for these arrests. He called himself the toughest sheriff in America and claims outrage at the stories of his misdeeds published by the Phoenix New Times. The newspaper printed articles about his political posturing and the fostering of fear against Mexicans.
When newspapers began dismissing Arpaio as nothing more than another off beat character the Phoenix New Times talked about his mismanagement in his office and numerous financial irregularities.
They spoke of Arpaio’s substandard health conditions in their jails, how the inmates were mistreated and how some of them died. They placed their focus on his racial profiling, his systematic persecution and how he disregarded the constitution with his detention of Latino’s. Read more: About Lacey and Larkin- Frontera Fund
The reason Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were supposedly arrested was for a story in the Phoenix New Times. This revealed how grand jury subpoenas were issued to get the private details about the readers, editors and writers of the newspaper. After an extremely unfavorable response from the nation, Larkin and Lacey were released with all charges dropped in less than a day.
The incident triggered a court battle regarding rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. Arpaio had tried to stifle the articles published in the New Times. The court stated there was no probable cause for the arrest of Larkin and Lacey. The decision of the appellate court led to a settlement for Larkin and Lacey in the amount of $3.7 million to be paid by Maricopa County. The year was 2013.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin used the money to begin the Frontera Fund. This fund was unique and of benefit to the Hispanic community. This community has suffered from abuses of their civil rights and racial animus in Arizona.
Larkin grew up in Arizona and believes everyone needs to help the unfortunate. He feels the Mexican immigrants have shown bravery in their travels to Arizona looking for work and opportunities. While politicians began their campaigns in 2014 using the anti-Hispanic posturing used by Arpaio, Larkin and Lacey quietly used the money from the Frontera Fund to help the worthy groups advocating for the causes and civil rights of Hispanics.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is responsible for detaining and demonizing the Mexican migrants along with any individual with brown skin. This includes American citizens. Larkin and Lacey stand beside the migrants. They believe people are better than the actions taken against the migrants in Arizona.