In the article ‘The Incident that Launched Frontera Fund’, writers for the Frontera Fund explain how the founders, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were falsely detained by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office under the orders of the corrupt Joe Arpaio.
According to them, they were taken into custody over the fact that they were journalists and would write articles on how Arpaio was mishandling the sheriff’s department. Arpaio did not take kindly to such allegations and went around legal means to issue a subpoena for both men’s arrest.
The gentlemen were arrested in their homes on the night of October 18, 2007, in front of their families. They were taken to different locations to be kept. Once the public learned of the unjust arrest there was an outcry and the men were set free with the charges fully dropped.
The pair immediately turned the tables on Arpaio, taking him to court and winning a settlement of $3.7 million that they invested in starting the Frontera Fund. The basis of the fund is to help Mexican migrants once they reach Arizona. Lacey and Larkin wrote about how these people were mistreated, illegally detained, and abused by the sheriff’s office and Joe Arpaio specifically.
They knew he was corrupt and were not afraid to say so or to share the things he did with the general public. Up until Larkin and Lacey refused to stand down, many other outlets had been intimidated into keeping quiet; they would not, however.
Their arrests came after another attempt to quiet the two men. When those tactics didn’t work, Arpaio sent deputies out to arrest them, using a subpoena not sanctioned or approved by the state of Arizona. The men knew that this act violated their First Amendment rights and so did the public.
In the original article, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was quoted saying, “It is hard to conceive of a more direct assault on the First Amendment than public officials ordering the immediate arrests of their critics. And, in this case, there was nothing subtle about their efforts to stifle the New Times.”
Because their rights had been violated due to one man not wanting people talking bad about him or spreading the truth of his inner workings, the state of Arizona was cost millions of dollars to make up for the original lack of justice. The two men still run the foundation and still help migrants.