Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were arrested from their house on the night of Oct 18 in Phoenix. They were arrested by a group of men who had come in unmarked cars and were shining flashlights on them.
Later they came to know that these were men from the Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit. They were arresting Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey for the crime committed by them of disclosing how a grand jury worked from the inside. Both these newsmen are also the co-founders of Village Voice Media that is the publisher of The Phoenix New Times.
It was based on something that happened earlier on that day. The New Times had published an article about a subpoena that had been received by them. It demanded the Internet addresses along with domain names of all those people who had made a visit to the web site of the newspaper.
This is not the first time that reporters have been jailed in the United States. But this is the first time when someone has been imprisoned for what he has typed.
This is regarding a story that has been going on for several months now. The Phoenix New Times matched this legal aggression coming in from the local authorities with their own aggression.
Jim and Michael filed a lawsuit that accuses the Maricopa County Sheriff, besides the county attorney as well as a special prosecutor. They are being accused of negligence, conspiracy along with racketeering in order to suppress the right of the newspaper to publish and the right of the public to know.
The Phoenix New Times is a part of 16 alternative weekly papers that include others like The Village Voice as well as LA Weekly. Since 1992 it has been busy in an ongoing battle with the County Sheriff of Maricopa, Joe Arpaio.
The county sheriff came to limelight as a jailer once he mandated that the charges under him should wear pink underwear. They had to eat green bologna. Besides, he had built a tent city where he installed a neon vacancy sign that glowed all the time.
All the inmates were supposed to live here. He is also accorded the charge of forming the female as well as juvenile chain gangs for the first time. He had transferred over 3,000 prisoners to their new facilities while they were only in their underwear. This scene had been captured by the television crews on their cameras. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Sheriff Arpaio has always been in the television news. Many of his prisoners have died while they were under his care. The East Valley Tribune had reported that nearly 60 jail inmates of Maricopa County had died since 2004 from illnesses that could have easily been treated.
He is also against illegal immigration. He is known to organize posses to sweep the Hispanic neighborhoods. He arrests anyone whom he suspects of being an illegal immigrant.
This is why the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is aimed at helping all the organizations that are striving for civil rights and human rights for immigrants all across Arizona.
Click on the links below to learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/