The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund has been in the headlines since its formation in 2013 for all the right reasons. The Frontera Fund main purpose is to rally behind civil activists group and help them fund their noble courses of championing for the civil rights of every citizen. While some people may be aware of the formation of this fund, the majority do not.
Frontera Fund’s genesis dates back to the incident of two brave Village Voice Media executives, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin on the night of October 18th, 2007 by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County. While at their resident’s the two media executives were forcefully handcuffed and arrested by the Sherriff then booked into jails manned by him.
Unlike other newspaper executives, Larkin and Lacey did not fear writing on the top page of their Phoenix New Times exposes on how the Sheriff mistreated the Latinos leaving within the Arizona community. The two journalist shed light on how Sheriff Joe Arpaio misused his powers to make arrests and mistreat his critics, the miserable treatments, persecutions and even deaths happening around the jails and the unconstitutional profiling and mistreatment of the Latinos. All these exposes seemed to anger the Sheriff as the days went by.
The breaking point of Sheriff Joe Arpaio came from a cover story where the two journalists exposed how the Sherriff abused his constitutional power to seek crucial information about the writer’s browsing history and IP address. Instead of appearing to the jury, the two journalists went ahead and published the story. This then later lead to the arrest and detention of the journalist, however, it would not last long as there was a national outcry for the release of the two journalists. Lacey and Larkin were later less than 24 hours from their arrest.
This illegal arrest would later lead to a long battle case between the journalist and Maricopa County challenging their arrest on the grounds of abuse of power and assault on the first amendment. Upon close examination of the case, the court found the Sheriff and Maricopa Country guilty of the crimes paving the way for a settlement amounting to 3.7 million US dollars to be paid to the two journalists. It is from this money that Lacey and Larkin founded the Frontera Fund.
The fund was largely intended to go towards the Hispanic community that been the longtime victims of racial discrimination and civil rights mistreatment. Despite its primary goal the fund still manages to sponsor civil activists group around the globe.