On the evening of Oct. 18, 2007, several of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies arrested and forcibly removed two Village Voice media executives from their homes. Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were shoved into black SUVs with Mexican license plates and taken to separate jails. They were both booked on unspecified charges.
Joe Arpaio orchestrated the arrests because he was angered by an expose written by the due, which revealed his dirty-dealings during his tenure.
The newspaper has repeatedly reported on Arpaio’s racist fear mongering in Arizona. While other newspapers spent their time defending Arpaio’s racist and homophobic stances, the Phoenix New Times continued to lambaste the Sheriff over a decades of fact-based illegalities rampant in his office.
Specific accusations included the unhealthy conditions in his jails; retaliatory abuses against his critics; mistreatment and deaths of countless inmates; racial profiling and unlawful detentions.
At the time of their arrests, Lacey and Larkin were writing a front page story in the Phoenix New Times about how Arpaio regularly worked in conjunction with his allies in the prosecutor’s office to violate the rights of writers, editors and even readers who went against him.
Instead of caving, Lacey and Larkin continued their written assault, which resulted in their arrests.
Once the news went national, there was a huge outcry. Lacey and larkin were released and the charges dropped.
the duo’s subsequent illegal detention set off a court trial centering on First Amendment Right violations and abuse of power.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in their brief that Arpaio’s assault on the First Amendment was direct and undeniable.
In 2013, Lacey and Larkin won the case and were paid $3.7 million from Maricopa County. The money was used to help with the Frontera Fund. The funds are distributed to help with cases involving the civil rights violation of Mexican Americans.
Lacey said Sheriff Arpaio terrorized every person he found with brown skin.