The birth of the Frontera fund
When Sheriff Joe Arpaio felt the winds of political change were coming to Maricopa County and the self-declared toughest sheriff would not be getting a chance to be sheriff again in the county he knew his time was up and he aligned himself with Donald trump mounting an all-out campaign for the man.
The then-presidential candidate also seemed to have a soft spot for his antics and it was not a wonder that the first presidential pardon that he gave was to the sheriff a man who had been so unfair to certain communities that he treated and considered them second-class citizens of America who did not belong.
In the case of Melendres v. Arpaio a landmark, the federal civil-rights lawsuit would mark the end of the sheriffs time in the sheriff’s office.
In 2016 the electorate had already rejected Joe Arpaio and with this, he no longer enjoyed the power which he had so blatantly abused and used to intimidate his rivals and immigrants.His tenure since he was first elected in 1992 was composed of harassment after harassment where he made sure that he retained the reputation as one of “tough on immigration”. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
He was one of the most vocal people against immigrants. His antics, however, did not work for everyone and there were those that were tough on him this was best reflected by Jim Larkin and Michel lacey. The two were on hand to report on his misdeeds everytime he pulled something that was illegal.
For them being journalists and owning a publication the Phoneix new times under the umbrella of one village media it meant that they had a way of reaching to a broad audience that was able to really understand who the sheriff was. This kind of reporting did not argue well with the sheriff who could not understand how a duo of journalist would challenge his authority that he cast with so much impunity. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/new-times-founders-helping-fund-latino-program-at-asu-journalism-school-6661821
The sheriff, however, would soon come to realize that he was not invincible when he arrested the two on made up charges. He effected the arrest at the middle of the night driving the two in different unmarked SUV’s and detaining them in different jails. What followed was a public outcry that overshadowed the trumped-up charges. On realizing that the cards had turned he decided to release them before any more damage could be done to his reputation that was already completely done.
This chain of events would mark the beginning of the Frontera fund. Once Michael and Larkin sued the sheriff’s office a chain of events was trigged. The county would be ordered to settle with the duo after the court of appeals found that there first amendment right had been violated when the sheriff arrested them.
This was later to be settled when the county agreed to pay the three million seven hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. The money was fully dedicated to starting the Frontera fund which today fights for the rights of Hispanic communities that are unfairly targeted by the likes of the sheriff.