On the night of October 18th, 2007 journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were arrested at their homes by deputies of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, acting on orders of sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The two were charged with obstructing the investigation of a Grand Jury. Larkin and Lacey, co-owners of Village Voice, had ran a story in their paper the Phoenix New Times about a secret Grand Jury convened by Arpaio under shady circumstances.
What Larkin and Lacey did not know what that the Grand Jury was formed to find a reason to put the two of them in prison. Larkin and Lacey had been reporting on Arpaio and his department for some time. They wanted to bring national attention to what was happening in Arpaio’s county.
Arpaio led his department in a policy of racial profiling and disregarding civil- and even human- rights in his application of the law. He especially targeted the Latino community, doing massive damage to Latinos in Maricopa and beyond. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
When they were arrested for exercising their first amendment rights, Larkin and Lacey got the nation’s attention. While they were imprisoned for 24 days the nation rallied against Arpaio and the arrest. Old stories about his activities began to resurface and Arpaio became either a villain or a hero for most Americans.
A judge eventually ordered the two freed and the charges dropped, as well as declared the Grand Jury null since it was founded on false pretenses. On release Larkin and Lacey sued the county and won $3.7 million.
They used this settlement to begin the Frontera Fund, a civil rights organization that fights to protect the civil and 1st amendment rights of all Americans, but particularly the Latino community that Arpaio did so much damage to.
As a result of Larkin and Lacey’s reporting and imprisonment Arpaio was brought up on charges of his own. He was found guilt, though he was also pardoned by President Trump. In 2016, the same year he he was one of the first to endorse Trump for President, Arpaio lost his bid for a seventh term as sheriff. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Larkin and Lacey Fruntera Fund | Crunchbase
Holding the position since 1992, the people of Maricopa County decided that enough was enough, that Arpaio had damaged the counties reputation enough and cost them enough in tax money with the settlement. Arpaio most recently announced his 2018 bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona.