A decade ago, the Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit ambushed Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin in their homes in Phoenix. The law enforcement unit had only one agenda.
To arrest the two individuals for publishing articles that exposed the underbelly of the Maricopa County administration. The officers were under the orders of Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of the county.
The police officers hauled away Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey to a detention facility in the county. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were running a daily called the Village Voice Media. The duo had published the details of an investigation that incriminated the administration of Maricopa County on various human rights violations.
For some time, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s newspaper had taken issues with the conduct of the top leadership at the Maricopa County government. Joe Arpaio, the county Sheriff, was at the center of the investigation.
By arresting Jim and Michael, Arpaio was trying to muzzle the media from exposing his wrongdoings. The fundamental issues raised against Arpaio went back to the time he was campaigning for his seat.
Joe Arpaio had perpetrated significant violations of the law. His police officers detained individuals in jail cells that were in a deplorable condition. He ordered his deputies to engage in smear campaigns with the aim of destroying the reputation of his political competitors.
Joe Arpaio treated Hispanic immigrants with a lot of disdain. Those who had papers were discriminated and treated like second-class citizens by his administration.
When the communities piled pressure on the county Sheriff, he finally released the two journalists. Joe Arpaio’s blatant disregard of the rule of law set the stage for one of the most prominent lawsuits in Maricopa.
The Melendres versus Arpaio suit caught the attention of the mainstream media across the United States. This legal battle led to the downfall of the tough-talking Sheriff. Learn more about Lacey and Larkin: http://james-larkin.com/ and https://michael-lacey.com/
The jury established beyond reasonable doubt that Joe Arpaio had contravened the provisions of the First Amendment. Media covered the developments of the lawsuit, and the attorney of Maricopa County announced that the case was closed.
The highlight of the ruling by the judges was the award of $3.75 million to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin for the illegalities that were committed against them.
After a successful battle in court, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey channeled the compensation money to their charity, Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund. The organization operates within different communities in the United States to ensure that immigrants and minority groups such as Hispanics are protected from oppression by the authorities.