It was already at night, and Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were in their respective homes. Suddenly, a knock on door completely changed their lives and made them the people they are today. When each of them opened, units from Maricopa County were waiting to arrest them. The County Sheriff had ordered their arrest. He accused them of disclosing grand-jury details about an investigation. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
When this incident happened, Lacey was working for the Village Voice Media daily paper. At the same time Larkin of the company CEO. The Sheriff’s accusation originated from a story they had mentioned that the grand jury is investigating the company. It was about Phoenix New Times, their local daily.
The arrest and accusation was a set up by the Sheriff. He disliked how the daily paper exposed misconduct from the County Department. The Sheriff has a history of lacking integrity in his administration. He has been linked to deaths of jailed detainees and shackling expectant mothers on beds during delivery.
When Lacey and Larkin were arrested, new spread widely and people reacted. They knew these were wrongful arrests and the Sheriff was just out for vendetta. After the case failed, Lacey and Larking prosecuted the Sheriff for wrongful arrests and all the violations that had taken place. They won the case, and the department had to compensate them for the damages.
This experience changed the lives and perception of Lacey and Larkin. Their motivation was fuelled, and they decided to take a different path. Lacey and Larkin founded the Frontera Fund. This foundation specifically fights for the rights of immigrants.
Lacey and Larkin witnessed how the Sheriff violated Latinos rights in his jurisdiction. The foundation was funded by the settlement Lacey, and Larkin received from the case. The department paid $3.75 million, and they decided to donate this money to their organization.
Today, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is retired after failing to secure the County Sheriff seat again. He had been the Sheriff for the past twenty-four years. It would have been difficult for him to secure the position again.
Arpaio’s long list of wrongdoings discredited him. Recently, he was pardoned by the president after the court had tried him for criminal charges. People think the pardon came as a result of campaigning for the president when he was vying. According to Lacey and Larkin, it seems Arpaio’s endorsement paid off.
The Frontera Fund is about the less fortunate. Lacey and Larkin believe in helping those who are desperate. They are both Hispanic, and they decided to help immigrants would be a suitable thing. It would be one way of giving back to the community. It does not mean that the organization only helps the Hispanic community. It is open to anyone in need of their help.
Doing what Lacey and Larkin do is not something they can successfully do on their own. They work with other organizations in Arizona. So far, the organization has helped a lot of people directly or indirectly. Lacey and Larkin are working tirelessly to ensure that the foundation will contain impacting people positively.