Arrest Leads To Frontera Fund Establishment

Officers working for Sheriff Joe Arpaio entered the home of Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey on October 18, 2007. The actions of the officers and the orders that the sheriff gave to them were then torn apart and put Joe Arpaio in a negative light. These two men were arrested for using their freedom of speech. They worked for “Village Voice Media” and had received intelligence from a variety of sources about how Sheriff Joe Arpaio was treating inmates in the prisons that he controlled. When the men were arrested, they were sent to two different prisons so that they wouldn’t be able to talk to each other about the incident.

Mr. Arpaio has claimed that he is the toughest sheriff in the country. Several stories in magazines and newspapers in Phoenix outed him because of the ways that he treated officers and inmates while he was sheriff. He is known for instilling anti-Mexican views into the minds of the people who worked for him at the time of the Larkin and Lacey incident. There were disputes with the finances recorded in the sheriff’s office and in the prison system. Inmates had to suffer through conditions that they didn’t deserve, such as a lack of heating and air and poor plumbing conditions. There have also been deaths of inmates that have come into question because of the actions of the sheriff.

Larkin and Lacey found out what was going on, and they decided to report their findings in the newspaper that they worked for and to anyone else who would listen. The men were ordered by subpoena to hand over the information, but they published it in the paper instead. They were released from jail within 24 hours after people in the state and the rest of the nation found out what happened. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the subpoenas weren’t valid, which led to a $3.7 million settlement awarded to Larkin and Lacey. The men now use the funds from the settlement to support the Frontera Fund. They want to bring awareness to the Hispanic community and support them in any way possible.