It’s interesting how people from humble backgrounds do the most amazing things in life. Michael Lacey, the son of a construction worker, moved to Arizona to attend college in the 60s. By the 70s, he’d dropped out of college and started his own news media paper.
At his side was Jim Larkin, the other co-founder of Phoenix New Times. Together, they built New Times into a highly respected paper that covered all issues from political to the arts. Eventually, they bought other papers, adding to their national reach. Now, their company Village Voice Media is a multimillion-dollar conglomerate. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://michael-lacey.com/
Though their lives seem happy and peaceful, they’ve both experienced the cruelty of abusive power-holders. In 2007, they were arrested by Maricopa deputies because they’d challenged the county’s sheriff. Sheriff Arpaio didn’t approve of the stories that New Times wrote about him. So, that October, he sent the armed deputies of his “Selective Enforcement Unit” to take Lacey and Larkin into custody.
Without cause, the two men were forced from their homes and into unmarked SUVs with heavily tinted windows and foreign license plates. They were then taken to separate jails, which were managed by Arpaio; making these arrests seem more like kidnappings.
When the story got national attention, it immediately revealed that Sheriff Arpaio was behind everything. Once thought to be a simple sheriff trying to do a tough job; now, Arpaio was revealed. For years, Phoenix New Times talked about all the irregularities and inconsistencies surrounding Arpaio. Read more: Michael Lacey | Facebook and Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia
Many other media outlets ignored the sheriff’s acts, but New Times focused on him more and more. There are countless instances of him abusing his power and local Latinos. He’s shown blatant disregard for the health and safety of countless inmates housed in the jails he’s supposed to manage; some inmates even dying because of mistreatment.
Arpaio’s rage toward the paper drove him to launch a full assault on the executives’ rights. He not only wanted them behind bars, he wanted all their notes and materials concerning him and his activities. He also tried to use subpoenas to force them to give him the identities of their readers.
Knowing their rights, they refused. It was that attempt to suppress them that put the nail in the coffin for Sheriff Arpaio. Rather than crying about it, Lacey and Larkin wrote about it.
Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter