Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are two people who have views that are on the left side of the political spectrum. They are all for the social and political acceptance of immigrants—whether those immigrants are undocumented or not.
A browse through their website and their social media reveals that they are very pro-DACA, anti-Trump, anti-Sheriff Arpaio and pro-DREAMER. They believe that the value of human life outweighs the theoretical economic and social benefits of keeping undocumented immigrants out.
Well, we all know who Trump is and what DACA and DREAMERs are. However, Sheriff Arpaio might be a hard one to recall. For those who don’t know, or for those who forgot, Sheriff Arpaio is a man who stood in authority over Maricopa County. Uncountable amounts of corruption, hate and bad jail conditions prevailed under his rule as Sheriff. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
He oversaw the establishment of a “tent city,” which housed prisoners who would have gone to jails that were too packed full of people. When some of us think of “tent cities,” we think of encampments of homeless people in cities and outside cities. Calling them “tent cities” does not have the same peculiar, negative ring to it as “tent jail cells.” The “tent cities” that were put up were not pleasant places to be.
A variety of abuses happened in jail settings under Sheriff Arpaio. For instance, inmates were haphazardly restrained in ways that were highly dangerous. Some of these inmates died.
There was a diabetic female who was not allowed to have her much needed medication. The list of horror stories goes on and on when we talk about jail conditions under the watch of Joe Arpaio.
Sheriff Arpaio also maligned people who he did not like. He maligned two critics, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. First, he banned the two journalists from his press conferences.
Then, he issued unlawful subpoenas to Larkin and Lacey for requests that were too invasive. After the men published information about their experience in The Phoenix New Times, they were randomly arrested in a very surprising, scary, heart-jolting way.
The Phoenix New Times was regarded by larger publications as a small, alternative type of publication that wasn’t really radical or dangerous.
This leads us to beg the question of why Sheriff Arpaio thought that it was so important to persecute two men who were practicing their right of free speech. Was it because there was some truth to what they were saying, or was Sheriff Arpaio just asserting his dominance?
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:
The Frontera Fund, or Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s revenge against Joe Arpaio
Sheriff Joe Arpaio had done some pretty outrageous and egregious things during his tenure as Sheriff. While working as sheriff of Maricopa County, Sheriff Arpaio had done many things that were considered human rights abuses, such as building a tent city in order to deal with jail overcrowding, where inmates had to deal with very little water, and temperatures reaching 135 degrees Fahrenheit. His policies had caused many wrongful deaths, inmate suicides, and infirmed inmates who were ignored. He fed many of his inmates green meat and rotten food. His policies gave him all sorts of negative press and eventually led to his arrest once his tenure was over.
Origins of the Frontera Fund
Joe Arpaio’s political opponents didn’t fare much better. Anyone who was considered a rival or an opponent of his, would cause him to use his power to illegally detain, prosecute, or smear their reputations. Two of his victims include the main editors of Front Page Confidential and chairmen of the Frontera Fund, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. While writing for the Village voice, Lacey and Larkin ran afoul of Sheriff Joe for their expose that they wrote against him. Due to this, Sheriff Joe had them arrested. The county attorney dismissed their case in under a day due to overwhelming protest from both citizens and the media. It was because of this Lacey and Larkin received a 3.75 million Dollar lawsuit settlement for wrongful arrest. It was with this money that the two men set up the Frontera Fund. The Frontera Fund is a non profit organization that sends money to migrant rights groups in Arizona. The two men also run the aforementioned blog, Front Page Confidential, which covers abuses of and threats to free speech and the First Amendment.