Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey founded the Phoenix New Times during a time when they felt as though their local media only showed an ultraconservative perspective. Lacey served as editor for the New Times, while Larkin focused on advertising. It turns out that the population in their home state of Arizona had been searching for an alternative to these mainstream conservative views.
Larkin and Lacey were interested in giving the public the entire picture of the political and social landscape, not just a snippet that suited them. The same can be true today of the Phoenix New Times, it hosts a plethora of dedicated staff writers and tenacious reporters.
A new article featured on the Phoenix New Times’ website discusses a recent decision made by US District Judge Susan R. Bolton. The article, “The Enduring Sin of Joe Arpaio: Newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Speak out in Response to Donald Trump’s Pardon of America’s Worst Sheriff”, discusses Bolton’s decision and how the media giants see it.
Lacey and Larkin had always been suspicious that Arpaio was planning an exit strategy in case he ever got in trouble for the things he did while in office. He believes that Arpaio’s early decision to back the future President Trump early in his campaign was a brilliant political move.
In no way do Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey believe that Arpaio should be pardoned for his crimes. In addition to his blatant racism, Arpaio is also responsible for countless inmates’ suicides, poor investigations for serious crimes, and the beating deaths of many individuals in his care.
His harassment of the Latino population, featured in the class action lawsuit Melendres V. Arpaio, is what ultimately resulted in the conviction that Trump pardoned him for.
Larkin and Lacey, themselves, were not safe from the wrath of Arpaio. Arpaio has quite a reputation for arresting, disrespecting, and needlessly prosecuting his rivals. Larkin and Lacey have always considered themselves a rival of Arpaio and in 2007 they were arrested for something that they published in their newspaper.
Their rest was unlawful, and they were released but not before their rights had been violated enough for them to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit resulted in an award of $3.7 million, which they used to found a fund dedicated to helping the Latino population located in Arizona.
The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund has already started making a positive impact on the population located in Arizona. They have even collaborated with other organizations that impact disenfranchised populations all over the country. Their goal is to give back to this community and help educate them about their human rights.
While Arpaio may be the worst Sheriff in the United States, there are other individuals in positions of power that suppress the growth of these groups. One of the ways that they can be helped is through education and resources.
This recent pardon may shock Larkin and Lacey, but they are not letting it slow them down. They will continue to fight for migrants and for Arizona.