The reign of Sheriff Joe Arpaio was one marked by intrigues and injustice that left many baffled. The sheriff had a knack to do things no other law enforcement officer in the country would dare do. By declaring himself the toughest sheriff in America, he had declared that he was willing to do whatever it took to get his way.
The sheriff would go to the extent of arresting journalists would were reporting on his misdeeds. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin would bear the brunt of the sheriff’s actions and would come to be entangled in a lawsuit that would see them on opposite sides.
The law enforcement officer had established that by creating a scapegoat targeting one community and selling the narrative that that community was the cause of all the problems that faced the county he would get a free pass from his political base as a hardworking sheriff while getting away with his misdeeds.
Jim and Larkin having lived there entire lives in Arizona knew better than this and understood that the Hispanic community could not be held liable for all the ills affecting Maricopa.
They knew that by making certain allegations, the sheriff had been able to entrench a culture of racial profiling in the department and get justification for arresting and detaining members of the same community without drawing public outrage. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/ and https://twitter.com/JimLarkin_
The sheriff would not have otherwise been able to get away with half of what he did had he not been this strategic. The two journalist would compel him to answer some hard and uncomfortable questions by publishing facts about his style of law enforcement. An article about real estate dealings that the sheriff was involved in to the tune of 690,000 dollars would firmly put them in the enemies list of the sheriff.
This was not the only article that would irk the sheriff Micheal and Jim had investigated the numerous cases of mysterious deaths that always seemed to plague the sheriff’s department and come up with some interesting conclusions. The death of a veteran who was being detained during a jail riot was one that would have prevented and seemed to stem from negligence by the sheriff and his department when handling inmates. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Twitter
The other case involved a woman who went into a coma after being denied medication despite her indicating that she had some medical complications. These were among the many instances that The Phoenix New Times reported on and in doing so continued to draw the sheriff’s ire.
The case that pitted the two against each other came about when the sheriff ordered the arrest of Larkin and Lacey for publishing the contents of a subpoena that was meant to stop them from doing the same.
The arrest would trigger a backlash that would see the sheriff release the two eventually and drop all charges. Having realized what the sheriff had done they sued him and his entire department and were awarded a 3.75 million settlement. This money would be used by the two to start the Frontera fund.