I respect people who stand up against evil and tyranny. It is because of people like that, that we have a chance to actually make a difference here on this earth and leave a better place for our children. Personally, I have dedicated my life to changing hearts and minds, in order to bring about goodness. Two other people like that are Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
These two heroes, who would later start the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, stood up against a great tyrant in their home state of Arizona.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had been dubbed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” because of his tough stance on immigrants coming into the state of Arizona.
While on this surface, depending on your world view, this may seem like a good thing, we can all agree that his methods were questionable at the least. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin thought so and began to broadcast his evil methods through their media outlets, Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.
They broadcast how Sheriff Arpaio had severely mismanaged his office and its appropriated funds, gave inmates substandard health care treatment at his jails, wrongly deaths of jail inmates, and his systematic persecution of Latinos. Learn more about Michael and Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737
Arpaio was also known to use his power to enact retaliatory measures on those who crossed him. This happened to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin and from this following incident the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund would be born.
The night of October 18, 2007, several unmarked SUVs pulled up to the homes of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. From those SUVs stepped out Arpaio’s “Selective Enforcement Unit”.
The SEU would illegal go into the homes of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin and forcefully removed them. Both Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were than taken to separate jails in order to be illegally interrogated and questioned.
The outcry of this atrocity rose to such heights that within twenty four hours of this becoming public, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were released.
What followed was a lawsuit that totaled $3.75 million and was filed against Maricopa County and its police department.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin would then use the funds to start the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. This empowering fund bankrolls non-profits who commit themselves to advocating for human rights, migrant rights, freedom of speech, and civic participation throughout the Mexican and Arizona border.