The United States has very many human rights activists who push for the protection of human dignity and equality. They exist because of they hold the notion that some persons, communities and groups suffer from certain legal biases and biased application of laws. Journalists strive to expose such situations and make the country aware of where and when discrimination occurs, who perpetrates such discrimination and how best to reject such discrimination.
Jim and Lacey are veteran journalists who have played more than their fair share of the role to fight discrimination. One of the major highlights of their journalistic careers was when they exposed America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff for his flagrant abuse of office. Their major achievement as human rights activists, on the other hand, was founding the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.
Mr Arpiao stayed in office as the sheriff of Maricopa County for far too long and established precedence for oppression and abuse. He would allegedly patrol the county streets with the sole intention of picking up members of the Hispanic community to abuse and molest. He was known for his arbitrary arrests and the inhuman treatment to which he would subject his prisoners. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
It was alleged and proved that he made his prisoners put on pink undergarments and verbally abuse them, sometimes even physically assaulting them. He established a legacy of underfeeding jailbirds and filling county prisons with petty first time Hispanic offenders and even detaining people without trial or making charges.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin effectively brought his reign of tyranny to a drastic and dramatic end. They also set up the Lacey and Larkin Frontera fund to dismantle his legacy and other such legacies through litigation and creating awareness.
After investigating claims of abuse of power by Mr Arpiao and validating them objectively through tangible proof, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin published an article on the unlawful activities of the sheriff. He got agitated and took the law into his hands.
He arrested the two journalists without any legitimate cause and put them under detention. He mistreated them and reprimanded him for conducting journalistic probes into him. However, the two would have none of his high-handed gimmicks and sought to clip his impunity. Lacey and Larkin sued the Maricopa County for the wrongful mistreatment perpetrated against them by its sheriff.
They stubbornly appealed the judges’ decisions for the county up to the ninth circuit court where they were awarded damages worth 3.7 million dollars. They used the 3.7 million dollars to set up the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund which has been dismantling the Arpiao Legacy of oppression against minority groups by legally disputing unfavorable laws and policies.
Other groups and organizations that have been fighting for the emancipation of immigrants and other minority groups through legal litigation include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Puento Arizona. The two lobby groups, more experienced and connected, developed two major approaches to fighting discrimination through litigation and creation of awareness. The two methods include:
- The closed fist approach
- The open fist approach