(Alternate post title: “Rainbow Six: Chicken Commando“)
To protect us from the evil scourge of cockfighting, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Steven Seagal staged a raid on a suspect…with dozens of SWAT ninjas in full kit, and an armored personnel carrier.
This is the kind of thing that makes law enforcement look like heavy-handed, jackbooted goonery. No doubt they had camera crews with them, and that Sheriff Joe in fact decided to take all the sexy hardware along for the bust precisely because it’s photogenic. But is this still “peace officer” work?
When you serve warrants and stage raids dressed and acting like you’re in urban combat in Fallujah, you look like an occupying army instead of community law enforcement officers, and then you can’t be surprised if people treat you like one. Us vs. Them mindset, special rights and weapons for the King’s Men, overwhelming force by default in the name of “officer safety”, and the broadest leniency and benefit of the doubt when it comes to the use of force…I don’t see that kind of route to be a healthy one for public safety.
Is the job of the police officer a dangerous one? No doubt. Are most police officers like Sheriff Joe and his tank-riding cockfight-busting ninjas? Hell no. But am I the only one who finds serving a cock-fighting warrant with a fucking tank and a platoon of SWAT just a tad excessive? What kind of attitude does that kind of swagger generate toward the police?
Tens of thousands in taxpayer money spent on some flash bang theater. Thousands of dollars in property damage. One unarmed suspect arrested. 115 chickens euthanized on the spot. Well done, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Well done, indeed.