In the night Of October 18th, 2007 Jim Larkin, together with his wife were woken up by a knock on their Phoenix home. Armed deputies from Maricopa County had come to arrest Mr. Larkin on orders from Joe Arpaio who was the Maricopa Sheriff.
The men told a very startled and confused Larkin that he knew what they wanted and why they had come. His wife went on to make a phone call to the police asking them to come to help them because some men were at their doorstep threatening them. What Jim and his wife did not know was that the police officers were already aware of what was on the ground.
The men threatening to take away her husband were, in fact, from the Selective Enforcement Unit of Maricopa County. Their reason for arresting Jim Larkin was because he had been accused of revealing some secrets relating to a Grand Jury that had been formed by Arpaio.
The main reason for the arrest of the duo was that they had published an article that exposed the wrong treatment that Arpaio and his team had been subjecting the Latinos and Hispania. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
Their inmates and women were negatively discriminated against and tortured owing the reason that they were immigrants. This caught the attention of the two journalists and decided to let the cat out of the bag.
It was no surprise to find reporters ending up being jailed in the U.S before, but this particular arrest had no basis because Larkin and Lacey were detained solely by simply typing.
And this rare occurrence of such a baseless arrest is what caused a public outrage leading to all charges getting dripped within 24hours.
Larkin and Lacey filed a case accusing the Sheriff of Maricopa County for ordering their illegal arrest. The case went on for a very long period following delays that were intended to frustrate the two reporters. However, justice was served in 2013 when the judge ordered the County of Maricopa to pay Michael and Larkin a whopping $3.75 million to settle the lawsuit.
This was not the first time Phoenix New Times had engaged in a war with Arpaio. It was a trend that had begun back when the Sheriff took over the reign in 1992. Joe Arpaio was known for blatantly violating the rights of Latinos and other immigrant groups.
He acted as a self-appointed tip to spear in the fight against immigrants who they claimed to be illegal and also arrested people that were suspected by his officers to be enemies or opposition to his beliefs. Following the huge public complaints, a district judge from Arizona, Grant Murray Snow, ordered immediate cease of Arpaio’s behavior of illegally targeting the immigrants.
Despite the order, Arpaio remained adamant and defiant about the orders. However, regional and international movements rose to defend the marginalized communities of the immigrants.
This was with the aid of Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund that the two formed to assist other non-profit companies that were also determined to eradicate the discrimination.