How the Frontera Fund came to be
When Jim Larkin and his partner Michael Lacey established the Frontera fund, it seemed that life had come full circle. The two had been awarded 3.75 million as settlement for the treatment and rights violation they had suffered in the hands of Sheriff Arpaio.
The duo was determined to continue fighting for justice and as such were ready to use the whole amount to create a fund that would fight for the Mexican community of Arizona.
The fact that the state borders Mexico had made it quite a home for migrants who cross from Mexico as well as a larger Latino community that are American citizens by birth. The settlement was quite an amount, and it was very useful in this regard.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been in the headlines for so long and for all the wrong reason that when he was pardoned by the president, most of Maricopa residents questioned the criteria used for the same. President Trump, however, as the president has the constitutional power to pardon anyone and for Arpaio, it was a matter of when not if.
The sheriff was one of the very first law enforcement officers who endorsed Trump and actively campaigned for him. They were bound to the hip as Trump favored a very stringent approach to immigration a position that the sheriff he himself was already well adept to. The sheriff had turned Maricopa into an immigration department of sorts with his constant rounding up of people who did not fit the look of a “citizen.” Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
He ran a department that openly encouraged the illegal detention of Latinos and was willing to get them deported at any prize. His stand, however, was not well received by all, especially Larkin and Lacey. Lacey and Larkin two who have been journalists all their lives were well aware of what the sheriff’s policy was and had reported on his misdeeds for long.
The sheriff was not particularly impressed by this kind of reporting and with time developed a personal grudge against them. He had made it his duty to arrest them on the slightest whim and as such continued to look for arrest opportunities.
The sheriff would then use his attorney’s charges to accuse the two of reporting on the hearings of a grand jury, which was supposed to issue a subpoena against their paper which would then grant the sheriff the right to certain privileged information.
This story broke before it could be issued and that same night sheriff Arpaio was at hand to arrest the two throwing them into unmarked cars in the middle of the night.
What followed was as dramatic as what had transpired before. All the leading media houses were up in arms citing first amendment violations.
This was followed by a general public outcry in support of the two, and when the sheriff realized it was not going to be business, as usual, he decided to release them and drop all the charges. This would mark the beginning of another battle that would see the county opt to settle.