The United States has a marvelous constitution that upholds human dignity, especially in the First Amendment. The constitution also created pretty strong institutions that no single individual can dismantle. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Phoenix New Time
However, some officials in the government institutions steer the mandate of their offices the wrong way. Some administrations may portray discriminatory attributes that could have devastating effects if not policed.
The institution of the state and federal police, county sheriffs and other law enforcement institutions, in particular, are extremely prone to misuse if people remain timid.
The police, more than any other institution in America, need policing. Journalists, activists and lobby groups have been doing a spectacular job at keeping the police in check.
However, it is evident that the regular American can, and should do more still; people need to challenge wrong policies and laws in the courts, academically, and through social campaigns. Model Americans like Lacey and Jim do not spare any legal method to fight oppression.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are two veteran journalists. They are also avid human rights activists. They are the founders of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and the final nail that plunged deep in the coffin of the oppressive administration of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff.
The two journalists investigated and exposed the sheriff for his flagrant abuse of power and breach of the constitution. They, in particular, published all his unlawful and oppressive activities of;
- Physically and verbally abusing his prisoners
- Racially profiling Hispanics
- Abusing his mandate
The constitution clearly defends the rights of all Americans and does not allow people to be criminalized for anything other than criminal activities of which persons are proven guilty without any plausible doubt. However, as a law enforcer, the sheriff, Mr Arpiao, intentionally ignored the stipulations of the law.
When the two journalists exposed him, Jim went on to arrest them and detain them without any probable cause. The two went on to police his actions and intentions further by suing Maricopa County for wrongful arrest and cruelty.
The intention to police was not watered down by the few times their lawsuit got thrown out by the junior courts. Jim and Lacey remained adamant and appealed to the appellate court of the ninth circuit granted them 3.7 million dollars in damages.
Apart from setting a powerful presence for members of the Hispanic community to whom Mr Arpiao had directed his discrimination, Jim and Lacey also set up the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. Through the fund, lobby groups like the Puente Arizona Society and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pursue cases like the one Jim and Lacey had with minimal financial constraints.
The affiliates of the fund often apply two methods in the approach to sue their way into justice and equity. The methods include the Closed Fist Approach and the Open Fist Approach. The Closed Fist Approach aggressively sues to discontinue oppressive laws while Open Fist Approach legally pursues to punish officials who act against legitimate and constitutional laws and policies.