In the News, there are countless reports of legal abuses and aggressions that end up not getting any attention and now having any further followup in the court.
Many of these abuses are from people who have power and authority, like sheriffs, police officers and local politicians. Many citizens and whole communities get oppressed by these people on a daily basis, and often there isn’t enough support for them around every corner to lead to significant changes.
This reality is slowly changing because of the actions of two entrepreneurs, journalists, activists, and philanthropists: Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Everything happened when they both were arrested without any warning or even any legal reason.
As journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were doing their job when they were investigating the past of the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. In Arizona, Joe Arpaio feels very entitled and an authority which is above the others. When the duo, who co-founded and worked for the companies Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, began investigating the past of the “toughest sheriff in all of Arizona,” as he likes to title himself, the sheriff felt like he could arrest them and “send a message” to never investigate him again.
On October 18, 2007, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were actually arrested and sent to jail, staying there for 24 hours because of the orders of the sheriff. The man, however, didn’t expect the entire United States and all media outlets to release such an outcry and disapproval of the actions of the legal enforcer.
Joe Arpaio suffered from those events more than his reputation had ever suffered before. The image of the Sheriff Joe Arpaio fell more and more after the illegal arrest of Michael and Jim, and more journalists began investigating his actions and schemes after they were released.
The two entrepreneurs ended up leaving with a big benefit and reward for the unthoughtful actions of Joe Arpaio: They started with a settlement money of $3.75 million, given by Arizona, a sum of money that they would use to advocate for civil and human rights and change the reality of the state forever.
This is how the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund was created and the funding for groups who advocate for civil, migrants’ and human rights began. It all started when the duo themselves suffered legal abuse from a sheriff and decided to make a difference.
Nowadays, the Frontera Fund has given support to many groups and institutions, as well as providing funding and monetary assistance to any victim of legal abuse and oppression who does not have the conditions to look for professional aid and representation. Often, legal representatives are not easy to come by or afford, and many communities struggle with finding support.
The Frontera Fund changes things when their creation has incentivized many professionals who advocate for humans’ rights to initiate their own groups and provide assistance with the funding support of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
The Frontera Fund has already made a big difference, but there is still a long way to go.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: