In October 2007, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested by the deputies of the Maricopa sheriff well known as the “Selective Enforcement Unit.” The two founders of the Village Voice Media were forced out of their homes located in Phoenix. They were later pushed into black SUVs which had Mexican number plates and jailed separately in cells which were managed by Joe Arpaio. This arrest was carried out by Arpaio who was known to be the toughest and youngest sheriff in America.
The two were put into custody due to the information they had spread through their media about the sheriff’s poor governance and misdeeds. Joe Arpaio was accused of fostering the anti-Mexican fear mongering and also posturing politics through his capacity as a sheriff in Arizona. The duo had also published about office mismanagement and financial irregularities in the Sheriff’s office through the New York Times. The unhealthy conditions of the Arpaio jails and torturing to death of the inmates were also exposed. Joe Arpaio was also accused of practicing racism among the Latin American.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were also involved in the publishing of a story of how Arpaio had violated the Constitution. With effect to this, Arpaio and his friends in the attorney’s office of Maricopa sought for a grand jury subpoenas for the details of the two media persons. However, Michael and Jim did not honor the subpoenas but instead wrote about it. The arrest caused unrest among the loyal patriots of the nation and due to their loud cry, the two were released, and all charges against them were dropped immediately. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey also filed a lawsuit against their arrest based on abuse of power and the first amendment rights. In 2012, the court of appeals also criticized the arrest due to the violation of the amendment bill. The ninth circuit also noted that the grand jury subpoenas were illegal since the attorney had not followed the right legal procedures.
The outcome of the case favored Jim and Michael, and they were entitled to get $3.7 million settlement amount from the Maricopa County. This money was used by the duo to establish the Frontera Fund which was to fight against racism and civil rights abuse around the Hispanic community. In 2014 when the elections were heating up, the Frontera Fund was also used to fund nonprofit organizations that advocated for the rights of Mexican immigrants.