The much celebrated Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund gives hope and preaches courage to the oppressed in the United States with more than just its activities. The fund has a peculiarly heroic foundation story that overly states the purpose, and direction of the whole concept; fighting back as hard as possible.
Veteran journalists, specializing in exposing human rights violations, and discrimination, set up the fund after successfully suing for 3.7 million dollars from Maricopa County for wrongful arrest and intimidation.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the two human right activists and veteran journalists, were arrested and wrongfully detained by Mr. Arpiao, America’s self-proclaimed toughest Sheriff. According to the journalists’ legal team, Mr. Arpiao confronted the two, arrested them, brutalized and intimated them, and ultimately detained them without any legal probable cause.
The 18th Judicial Circuit Court found the allegations by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin that Mr. Arpiao was acting on personal interest when he arrested them to be true. The two journalists had exposed the sheriff for gross misconduct and abuse of office.
According to reports that the two had written after collecting journalistic evidence from him, Mr. Arpiao had been perpetrating hate crimes against members of minority communities, especially the Hispanic Community. They had published journals categorizing his errant ways in three main constitutional breaches;
Mr. Arpiao, absorbed and consumed by the notion that his office made him above reproach, furiously went out to mete out oppressive and unlawful treatment of the two journalists. He used his official capacity to resolve personal differences in a criminal fashion. The two journalists, however, aware of their rights, resolved to seek justice in court.
Although they got frustrated severally, they did not relent in setting precedence for those who faced such oppression. They appealed all the way to the 18th circuit court where the court found Maricopa County liable for the damages that came to the two journalists at the hands of the Sheriff.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, on receiving the settlement cash, decided to set up the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. The Fund is primarily meant to fight such racial profiling and discrimination; especially for the benefit of the Hispanic community.
The focus on the Hispanic community was because the two had personally witnessed gross human rights violations on members of the community. To make the fund as effective as possible, the journalists also decided to make partnerships with other human rights lobby groups for concerted effort.
Such groups that guard the rights and freedoms of immigrants and other minority groups include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU, which has been actively pushing for better treatment of immigrant, uses litigation to set favorable legal precedence for minority groups.
It challenges the constitutionality of oppressive laws like the ones that allow the mandatory and indefinite detention of immigrants. Another organization that uses the same approach is the Puente Arizona which is based in Arizona.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the former owners of Village Voice Media, which published newspapers such as the Miami New Times, LA Weekly, and the Phoenix New Times. By 2013, Lacey and Larkin had sold all their stake in Village Voice Media.
Instead, they moved on to more noble ventures. In 2013, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin created The Frontera Fund, a charitable organization that assists other charities in attaining necessary funds. Charities like the ACLU, Aliento, and Can the Border Divide US benefit from the altruistic efforts of The Frontera Fund.
This organization came a few years after their run-in with Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. Although Arpaio is no longer Sheriff of Maricopa County, he was able to hold the position for nearly 25 years, terrorizing immigrants & prisoners in an attempt to make a name for himself.
The Phoenix New Times, which was owned by Lacey and Larkin at the time, covered every moment of Joe Arpaio’s spree of terror. They made Arpaio’s hidden assets public knowledge, condemned Arpaio’s use of brutal police tactics, and exposed Arpaio as a racist, and finally their efforts paid off: Joe Arpaio was charged with criminal contempt of court, and he was eventually voted out of office.
In the Summer of 2017, around the same time Arpaio’s conviction was announced, Front Page Confidential was born. This ended Lacey and Larkin’s hiatus from the newspaper business. Front Page Confidential is where Lacey and Larkin’s efforts continue. They are still trying to take down Joe Arpaio, after a pardon from President Trump, but they are also spreading their focus to the national level. Targets of Front Page Confidential include Orrin Hatch and Donald Trump, for example.