Many Americans assailed the controversial and infamous court decision along with President Donald Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the retired notorious Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona State. By this time, people focus more on the current campaign to promote the rights of minorities in the country, among them Latinos and Hispanic Americans.
Part of the credit should go to Michael Lacey and colleague Jim Larkin who criticized Arpaio’s wanton racial profiling. The Office of Arpaio became tarnished acts of human rights violations, particularly against cultural minorities.
The New Times Publication
Michael Lacey came from Newark, New Jersey but moved west and attended Arizona State University. Lacey, along with two other students published the Phoenix New Times’ initial issue as an expression of disapproval for the conformist position of local media on covering anti-war demonstrations.
Michael served as the paper’s executive editor. His business associate, Jim Larkin took care of the advertising functions.
The aggressive and free publication circulated weekly started to grow. It focused on different national as well as local social and political concerns. The Times gradually gained distinction as one of the leading alternative papers in the United States.
On October of 2007, the unpopular Arpaio ordered the arrest of Jim and Michael for publishing that subpoenas of the grand jury targeted the Phoenix editors, writers, and readers.
Public Disagreement against their Arrest
The apprehension and consequent detention of the two men caused a massive public uproar. The Sheriff’s Office dropped all charges against the duo within one day. The court also overturned the subpoenas which ended the grand jury probe. An investigation disclosed the warrants as fake that a bitter prosecuting attorney issued circumventing legal measures.
The Maricopa County settled the lawsuit against Larkin and Lacey compensating them $3.75 million for all the troubles. The two human rights supporters created their foundation with the goal of giving proceeds from this payment to Latin-Americans within Arizona.
The publication’s founders demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the First Amendment. Their company became known as Village Voice (Media). It established the fearless reputation of an investigative paper along with feature-style of writing common to magazines. Before 2012 ended, the Times earned a readership of nine million every month. The founders decided to see their paper to a group of business persons. The Times also obtained many accolades like the Pulitzer Prize.
Fighting for the Right
Mr. Lacey and Mr. Larkin showed a lot of courage in fighting for a good cause. Their Frontera Fund contributed extensively to the Hispanic and Latin Americans victimized by law enforcers and public officials. On the other end, Joe Arpaio’s pardon and acquittal from the Court shows the power of government and legal entities.
While the former sheriff will not end up in jail, the brave move of the two journalists only indicates that people must always remain on guard against racial profiling and other forms of discrimination. These illegal acts need to stop as one way of demonstrating the American people’s opposition to injustice.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: