Armed deputies from the Selective Enforcement Unit that is headed by the Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stormed in in the middle of the night and arrested Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. In this evening of October 18th, 2007, the two co-founders of the Village Voice Media were confronted with the officers and forcibly removed from their home and taken into different jails under Joe Arpaio.
This sheriff who considered himself as the toughest in the United States accused the two co-founders of disclosing the sheriff’s proceedings. Phoenix New Times had in a very long time been exposing the misdeeds of the sheriff. In this newspaper, Joe’s patriarchal activity was disclosed in anti-Mexican and also politics in Arizona. In the matter of fact, Joe has portrayed him not only as an offbeat but also as a malign person in Arizona. Some of the sheriff’s misdeeds include rampant financial irregularities, abuse of power over those against his misdeeds, the death if the jail inmates, poor conditions of the jails, his racism, unlawful detaining of the Latinos and his persecutions.
The imprisonment of the Larkin and Lacey came after they had opened of a cover story that uncovered an assault against the constitution. The Arpaio’s Allies had started seeking details of the writer, editors and the readers of the newspaper, when they issued grand jury subpoenas. They went further to track down even the readers’ IP address and browsing histories. Lacey and Larkin responded to this act by writing about it.
However, they were not detained for long before release following the outcry of the public. In less than twenty-four hours, the charges were dropped, and they were released. This detention was followed by lengthy court proceedings that were aimed at First Amendments rights and abuse of power. In the year 2012, the ninth circuit wrote that there was no direct assault on the First Amendment as for the public officials to arrest their critics. There was no probable reason for the arrest of the two executives of the Village Voice Media. The court demanded a settlement fund paid to them as compensation from the Maricopa County in 2013. They used the settlement to open up the Frontera Fund.