Lacey and Larkin Provide Backing for Free Speech and the ACLU

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey co-founders of the journalistic organizations Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media were arrested illegally by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. After the illegal arrest of the two journalists, which took place in the middle of the night, the two journalists received a nearly four-million USD settlement from the court.

The two journalists have dedicated the entirety of their settlement to their own fund: the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund provides much-needed support to organizations which advocate for migrant rights, freedom of speech, civic participation, and human rights throughout Arizona and the Phoenix area. Among these organizations is the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.

The ACLU Gains the Support of Lacey and Larkin

After its founding in 1959, the ACLU has successfully challenged a number of unconstitutional state laws targeting minorities. In the year of 1960, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona challenged and overturned a state law which had placed a ban on interracial marriage.

In addition, the ACLU spearheaded the defense of Ernesto Miranda, the case eventually resulting in the creation of the Miranda rights and the requirement for members of the police force to read them before interrogation of suspected criminals.

The ACLU has also done more recent work, including launching and helping to litigate a federal class-action lawsuit. The case, Melendres v. Arpaio, made history when in 2013 the federal judge who was handling the case made the ruling that Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as well as his deputies, had engaged in racial profiling practices. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/

It was determined that the sheriff and his deputies had been racially profiling Latino drivers at traffic stops as a thinly-veiled effort to enact immigration patrols. The ruling of the judge had served to prevent the deputies and Sheriff from acting in the enforcement of immigration.

In addition, the court had placed orders to have a monitor embedded in the office of the Sherrif, their goal being the observation of the office and elimination of unconstitutional policies in regards to policing.

In Defense Of Free Speech

In addition to fighting for the rights of immigrants, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has also joined the fight for free speech across Arizona and the rest of America. The ACLU has successfully defended the rights of Arizona’s day laborers to freedom of speech. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

The ACLU had won a federal court case in which the ruling had struck down a state law. The state law had been one which denied bail to immigrants, which was deemed unconstitutional by the court.

In addition to its defense of free speech, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona was an integral part of a legal team involved in challenging an infamous law in Arizona requiring all members of law enforcement forces within the state to practice enforcement of immigration.

The challenge to this law resulted in it being overturned and dismantled in large part due to the Supreme Court’s ruling which deemed much of the law as unconstitutional.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/new-times-founders-helping-fund-latino-program-at-asu-journalism-school-6661821

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