A Media Perspective of Larkin and Lacey Civil Rights Crusade

News that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been pardoned by a US District Judge has rubbed civil rights activist in Phoenix the wrong way. The pardon comes hot on the heels of a presidential pardon by President Donald Trump on August 2017.

According to a report published by the Phoenix New Times, US District Judge Susan R. Bolton pardoned Arpaio for ignoring an order from a federal judge in a racial profiling case proffered in 2007. The development attracted the ire of former co-owners of the Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Lacey has criticized the justice system for not holding Arpaio accountable to the people whose rights he violated. Arpaio was expected to face sentencing in a few weeks time.

Arpaio had been accused of numerous gross violations, which include wrongful deaths, prisoner mistreatment, sexual violations and misuse of authority by instigating investigations and arrest of his critics. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/

The former sheriff is accused of ordering investigations on the birth certificate of President Barrack Obama and ordering scrutiny of Judge Murray Snow through a paid confidant.

In one of the worst cases of prisoner mistreatment, Arpaio is accused of several wrongs during the infamous tent city debacle of 1993. The accusations include placing inmates in overcrowded cells under boiling temperatures, inmate beatings and tying expectant mothers in shackles while giving birth. New Times journalists have been at the forefront of reporting the violations committed by Arpaio.

The stance has earned the media numerous bans and threats of arrest to its journalist. Back in 2004, The New Times exposed how Arpaio and his wife concealed receipt of large parcels of commercial viable real estate valued at $700,000. The journalist who reported the transgression, a Mr. John Dougherty soon became a victim of an obscure statute.

Under the statute, an individual is said to have committed felony if they publish a law enforcement official’s address online. In the case of Lacey and Larkin, the newsmen sued the sheriff for wrongful arrested on October 2007. The attorney general at the time, Andrew Thomas and Maricopa County board of supervisors agreed to pay a settlement of $3.75 million. The newsmen continued to champion for civil rights by forming the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

The fund is dedicated to supporting migrant rights groups working in Arizona. Lacey and Larking began their crusade for civil rights many years ago. According to Laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org, Michael Lacey came to Arizona from New Jersey in 1960 to attend the Arizona State University.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were students at ASU before dropping out to establish Phoenix New Times in 1972. The campus weekly was established as a response to the predominant conservative media coverage of the campus, anti-war protest.

When they started out, Lacey took up the position of Executive Editor while Larkin led the newspaper’s advertising section. In 1983, the parent company acquired Denver News, before growing into a multi-million conglomerate soon after with papers such as the New York based Village Voice, Miami New Times and LA Weekly under its stable.