It was on 18th October 2007 when Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey were arrested by some armed deputies feared to have been sent by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. These armed people are said to have belonged to the Selective Enforcement Unit. Jim and Mike lived in the Phoenix-area homes, and they were executive leaders at the Village Media. They were forcibly removed from their home and shoved into SUVs that were unmarked, and with dark tinted windows. In fact, the SUVs had Mexican license plates. These two men were later taken into separate jails that Arpaio managed. Arpaio had intensively investigated these men and he had carried out any instigation that needed to be done.
Most of the stories from Phoenix New Times had outraged Arpaio who termed himself as one of the toughest sheriffs in America. Most of his misdeeds had been exposed, and this never went well with him. He was exposed to have a hand in the political posturing that took place in Arizona. He was also said to have participated in encouraging anti-Mexican fear, and playing a patriarchal role. Although some other mainstream newspapers were trying to cover up his misdeeds, by referring Arpaio as a benign Arizona character, other newspapers reported something different. Phoenix New Times is one of the newspapers that disclosed the rampant mismanagement and financial irregularities that went in the sheriff’s office.
Phoenix New Times had also reported on other teething issues such as the unconstitutional detention of Latinos, racial profiling, systematic persecution by Arpaio, deaths of jail inmates, mistreatment, substandard health conditions in the Arpaio jails, and retaliatory attacks on those who opposed sheriffs. Larkin and Lacey had penned a story on some constitutional injustices that went on, and this led to their arrest. The Attorney’s Office in Maricopa County had issued an investigation seeking details about the readers, editors, and writers of Phoenix New Times. The office also wanted information on the IP addresses, and browsing histories of the readers of this newspaper.
When the other jail mates realized that Lacey had been arrested because of writing, they caused an irresistible outcry. The outcry became loud and national such that Lacey and Larkin had to be released before 24 hours were over, and all their charges dropped. The court battle surrounding these two men had its ground in their illegal detention. Lacey and Larkin’ court battle was all about abuse of power and First Amendment rights. It was these two men who came up with an initiative they called Frontera Fund.