Lacey and Larkin vs. Sheriff Arpaio
Michael Lacey moved to Arizona in the late 60s to attend college. Shortly after arriving, he met Jim Larkin, a Phoenix-native. The two bonded over a paper they and some other students worked on about the ultra-conservative local media’s portrayal of campus protests.
That was their first paper, leading to the founding of Phoenix New Times. The two co-founders found their places in the company and began focusing on expansion. Lacey worked as the executive editor and Larkin took care of all the advertising aspects. Together, they built up New Times into a prominent and respected newspaper.
While it seems their lives are successfully perfect, they’ve gone through some troubling times. Their business was targeted by a vengeful sheriff and a corrupt prosecutor. While the prosecutor’s actions were minor compared to the sheriff’s, the fact that the events happened at all make the prosecutor just as horrible.
Nearly a decade ago, Lacey and Larkin were forcibly dragged from their homes and forced into unmarked SUVs. The people “arresting” them were Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “Selective Enforcement Unit”. If the word “selective” seems shady, it is. There are a lot of things about Arpaio’s operations that shocked people to the core.
One of the most shocking things is how he arrested Lacey and Larkin. He didn’t simply send officers to their homes or places of work. He sent his feared Selective Enforcement Unit. Lacey and Larkin were forced from their homes and shoved into unmarked SUVs. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/new-times-founders-helping-fund-latino-program-at-asu-journalism-school-6661821
As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, both SUVs had Mexican license plates and dark tinted windows. There was no official cause for the arrest. Arpaio, working with his corrupt prosecutor set the whole thing up out of revenge. The deputies drove Lacey and Larkin to separate jails, managed by Arpaio, where they were booked for not cooperating with authority.
While their arrest sounds more like a kidnapping, they were subjected to even more assaults once at the jails. Arpaio used grand jury subpoenas to try to force both men into giving up their fellow editors, writings, and staff members’ personal information. Arpaio even wanted the names of their readers.
Such blatant disregard for the First Amendment shocked the nation. The public outcry for their release was immediate. It was later discovered that Arpaio’s subpoenas were counterfeit, signed by the corrupt prosecutor.
Read more; Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund