On the evening of October 18th, 2007 Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were arrested by order of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. The two reporters, who co-owned the Village Voice, were charged with revealing the details of a Grand Jury investigation. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
They had published a story in the Phoenix New Times that revealed that Arpaio had formed a secret Grand Jury. Unknown to Larkin and Lacey was the fact that the Grand Jury was investigating them.
Larkin and Lacey spent 24 days in prison before a judge threw the charges against them out and determined that the Grand Jury was formed illegally. After their release Larkin and Lacey sued the County and won $3.7 million. They used this money to start the Frontera Fund which helps protects the civil rights of Arizona citizens, particularly in the Latin community which was so adversely affected by the Arpaio Sheriffs Office.
The Grand Jury story was not the first negative story about Arpaio that Larkin and Lacey put out. They had been publishing stories for some time about the various violations and crimes of Arpaio’s department. This was why Arpaio formed a secret Grand Jury to investigate them in the first place: He wanted them in prison where they couldn’t report on him anymore.
The accusations against Arpaio gained national attention with the arrest of Larkin and Lacey. National outrage helped to free them and resulted in people wanting to know more about Arpaio’s crimes.
The Sheriff and his entire department were accused of racism, sexism, racial profiling, mistreatment of prisoners and inhumane treatment of prisoners. They were also found to have illegally detained and searched many inmates accused of being illegal immigrants, some of them actual U.S. citizens. Arpaio denied all of these allegations no matter the proof put forward. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
In 2016 Arpaio failed his bid for re-election as Sheriff. It would have been his seventh term, but after serving since 1992 the voters of Maricopa County were done. He then went on trial himself and was found guilty.
President Trump pardoned Arpaio, who had previously endorsed Trump early in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primaries. Since the pardon Arpaio has announced his desire for the candidacy of a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona. Trump has endorsed Arapio.
Larkin and Lacey continue to campaign against Arpaio at a national level and stay vigilant in their reporting about Arpaio’s various false claims.