You may have heard of the Frontera fund this is an organization that is concern with helping the mostly Hispanic community in Arizona the home state of Maricopa County. This county is infamous for having the self-declared former toughest sheriff in America by the name Joe Arpaio he is a man who has been followed by a lot of allegations and controversy in his tenure as sheriff. He was especially fear by the Mexican community who he blatantly targeted and arrested using racial profiling. He would stop and search them randomly without any probable cause and had made his mission to ensure they never knew peace or without regard for their civil, migrant or human rights as enshrined in the United States constitution.
On one night in October 2007 at the stroke of midnight, the sheriff and his fellow law enforcement officers showed up at the doors of Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. He proceeded to arrest them and drove off with them in unmarked sports utility vehicles. This arrest was to mark the beginning of a long battle between the battle between the founders of the Phoenix new times and the sheriff. Mike and Jim being a local publication had been able to over time focus on the misdeeds of the sheriff point out his continuous disregard for the rights of others and instead focusing on his ability to abuse his power. This led to a situation where he made an arbitrary arrest and at some point, those in his custody would die in jail. He had also become infamous for spreading fear in the community against Mexican immigrants which led to a lot of political posturing at some point becoming too bad that they feared for their own safety from those who seemed to consume the sheriffs every word as biblical truth.
The two had been able to headline how the sheriff was always financially mismanaged and his systematic racial profiling was getting worse by the day. The case brought against the two was based on them obtaining information on the contents of a grand jury that was apparently deliberating on granting the sheriff the access to private details on editors and writers of the papers. This case was later dismissed and as such the duo was free.
In 2012 they went back to court and sued the county for the violation of their first amendment right the court of appeals came to the conclusion that indeed they had been violations and this led the county settling for a sum of 3.7 million.
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Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have founded the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund after receiving $3.75 million from the Maricopa County in Arizona, to settle a lawsuit against Joe Arpaio, a former law enforcement officer and Maricopa County sheriff. Joe Arpaio and his officers that formed the Selective Enforcement Unit had illegally detained Larkin and Lacey back in 2007. The armed officers showed up to their homes, cuffed them and took them away in unmarked vehicles with Mexican license plates. Larkin and Lacey were detained in two separate county jails that were operated by sheriff Arpaio. As it was later confirmed that the two were innocent and their First Amendment rights were absolutely violated, Larkin and Lacey went into a longstanding legal battle with the county’s sheriff and his departments. In 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that they were arrested without probable cause.
Larkin and Lacey currently run the online news publication “Front Page Confidential” that features commentary and matters relating to free speech within the United States. On March 8, 2017, the Front Page Confidential released a story on Joe Arpaio and his recent campaign to run for U.S. Senate, stating that the former sheriff knowingly was interviewed in a recent publication that is known to be very anti-Semitic. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s Frontera Fund actively helps benefit the Hispanic community that is continuously affected by the racial and civil rights abuse in the state of Arizona.