Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin dropped out of college and published the inaugural issue of Phoenix New Times. This was in direct response to the local ultra conservative news converge.
The tag team combined their individual specialties in order to spread the influence of the weekly while exploring a variety of social and political topics. This snowball of growth gained momentum in 1983, where the New Times would purchase Westword, a news and arts weekly based in Denver.
This commenced a chain of acquisitions that led to the formation of a multi million-dollar conglomerate of over 15 like minded weekly ‘alternative’ papers. This scope of influence would soon land the duo into drama with Police sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been pushing forth racial profiling and cracking down on Latino Americans in Arizona.
During his tenure in Arizona, the Latino community was being undermined, aggressively profiled, and persecuted at an alarming rate. Arpaio had created a culture where officers that served near and under him acted as mouth pieces to spew his racist dogmas.
They acted as parrots for his ideals and created an uphill battle for Latinos in Arizona to face fair and just legal processes. He defended his position by assigning himself a role using nationalistic talking points, making it seem as if it was necessary to hunt all of the “illegal Immigrants”. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
The Latino community in Arizona stirred in response to Arpaio, Lacey and Larkin responded. They pushed Arpaio’s wrong doings into the public eye and butted heads with the sheriff and his department on several occasions.
Arpaio grew irritated by the aggressive coverage of his actions, but this wasn’t the first time his methodology had been placed under a magnifying glass. In fact, there were several instances of him being informed by District Judges to change his tactics, but a majority of these cases had been handled behind closed doors. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
As such, they were ultimately ignored by Arpaio as he continued his crusade. These details would arise in a court case (That happened nearly 10 years ago) that would ultimately lead to Arpaio being charged with violating the rights of Latinos and other immigrant groups.
On the back end of this Lacey and Larkin would focus their attention to making sure the sheriff remained accountable. This Eventually led to Arpaio dispatching units to arrest the reporters under the cover of night and detaining them.
After being held for 24 days, Lacey and Larkin filed a suit against Arpaio and exposed more information about his malpractices and misconduct. The Suit was settled for 3.7 million dollars.
As a result of the lawsuit, Arpaio was held in contempt of court. However, he was pardoned by President Trump. The reason for the pardon is debatable, but many people believe it to be a result of matching ideals of Nationalism.
However, counter to this, movements that are counter to these ideals started popping up in response to the international drama caused by this display.
With people aware of malpractices by Arpaio, and the increasing media coverage of over corrupt officials, we are moving towards an era of ultimate responsibility. An era where figure heads aren’t removed from the consequences of their actions, and bias agendas can be permanently curbed.