The Cockfighter and the Tank

Most of us are quite happy that cockfighting is illegal across North America. We are pleased when law enforcement teams arrest those involved and generally don’t have a lot of sympathy for animal abusers.

However, there are limits.

The Sheriff of Maricopa County Arizona, Joe Arpaio, has attained notoriety as the “Toughest Sheriff in America“, and not necessarily in a positive way.

Arpaio has been a controversial sheriff. Arpaio’s practices have been criticized by organizations such as Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Arizona Ecumenical Council, the American Jewish Committee, and the Arizona chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. The editorial board of The New York Times called Arpaio “America’s Worst Sheriff”. Controversial issues surrounding Arpaio have included allegations of racial profiling, in which the ACLU has sued the sheriff.

There are numerous articles on the web about his excesses, including at least one website whose sole raison d’étre is to oust Arpaio. Even though you might agree with some of his methods, he is very costly (free subscription required) to the taxpayers. Between 2004 and 2008, there were 2200 law suits filed against the county for mistreatment of prisoners. In comparative prison populations in other parts of the country, there were 7.

He has also acquired a bit of weaponry to support his war on crime (or Latinos, which in his mind appear to be the same thing).

Arpaio and his Armoured Vehicle

Arpaio and his Tank

Add to this mix, Steven Seagal, the world renowned thespian and police trainer. His new TV show Lawman, shows Seagal making real world busts, helping people and singing.

For almost 20 years, Seagal has been working as a fully commissioned deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. In addition to going out on patrol, Seagal is an expert marksman who has worked with their SWAT team and has instructed Jefferson Parish officers in firearms and hand-to-hand combat.

Steven Seagal Lawman will allow fans to ride shotgun with Seagal as he and his hand-selected elite team of deputies respond to crimes in progress. Then, when Seagal goes off duty, the cameras will continue following him as he pursues his many ventures, including musical performances and philanthropic efforts in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans.

Now, back we go to the suspected cockfighter, Jesus Llovera, who was awakened to face the consequences of his crime. The team, including Seagal in the tank, dozens of SWAT members, a bomb robot, and other assorted armoured vehicles rolled up to Llovera’s house, blew out the windows and dragged the unarmed homeowner off to jail. Along with the thousands of dollars damage to the property, they euthanized over 100 birds.

While I am fine with ending a cockfighting operation, these tactics seem more suited to PETA or animal rights terrorist Jerry Vlasak, than to law enforcement.

Hat tip to Ed Brayton


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