Every U.S. state has a special newspaper that doesn’t lie. Most media outlets over exaggerate instances to make their rating higher, but there’s always one that keeps things simple and honest. In Phoenix, Arizona that paper is the Phoenix New Times. Its co-founders, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, were recently awarded $3.75 million from a lawsuit.
In 2007, Lacey and Larkin went to war with a local sheriff, Joe Arpaio. The feud eventually led to the arrest of Lacey and Larkin, who were innocent. As the story came out, more evidence showed that Sheriff Arpaio acted out of pure spite.
The dispute between the media executives and the sheriff was over some stories the reporters wrote. In their articles, they talked about all the shady and abusive things the sheriff did. That made Arpaio mad, and he unleashed hell on the duo. Having them arrested was just the beginning.
Lacey and Larkin faced abuse before, as liberal reporters living the ultra-conservative state of Arizona. Instead of attacking Arpaio’s character, they simply continued to report on his behavior. After they won their court case, they used the settlement to start a support fund that helps Arizona-based organizations that fight for human, civil, and migrant rights.
The event in question occurred on October 18, 2007. In the middle of the night, the feared “Selective Enforcement Unit”, which is as controversial as it sounds, barged into Lacey and Larkin’s Phoenix-area homes and forcibly shoved them into unmarked SUVs. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
All of this happened because Phoenix New Times wrote several stories about Sheriff Arpaio abusing his power so that he could make extra money on the side and abuse local Latinos. In many instances, he systematically persecuted, profiled, and unlawfully detained hundreds of Latinos. His abuse even led to the death of some jail inmates.
Lacey and Larkin didn’t stay in jail for long. The next day, the story broke that Sheriff Arpaio had abducted two media executives and tried to pass it off as an arresting. He had no legal authority of any kind, except the fake subpoenas he got one of his friends to sign.
Those subpoenas he had were used to attempt to violate the rights of New Time’s writers, editors, and readers. Sheriff Arpaio even wanted the browsing history and IP addresses of all of their readers.