What is America to do about the epidemic of cockfighting that might be undermining our liberties at home, maybe?
Well, if you're wondering, Arizona's Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, has set the standard of cockfight confrontation. And it basically involves being utterly hysterical and deploying as much manpower and armaments as can be mustered against an unarmed dude with a bunch of chickens.
It all went down in Phoenix, three days ago, where in "a massive show of force...the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant and arrested the homeowner, Jesus Llovera, on charges of suspected cockfighting."
How massive? Exactly this massive!
West Valley residents in the neighborhood are crying foul after armored vehicles, including a tank, rolled into their neighborhood to make the bust.
Neighbor Debra Ross was so worried she called 911 and went outside where a nearby home had its windows blown out, was crawling with dozens of SWAT members in full gear, armored vehicles and a bomb robot.
"When the tank came in and pushed the wall over and you see what's in there, and all it is, is a bunch of chickens," Ross said.
But how many of those chickens were actually bombs that needed to be fought to the death by Joe Arpaio's battlebots? We may never know.
Or at least, we won't know until these events are depicted on a forthcoming episode of A&E's Steven Seagal: Lawman:
[Llovera's attorney Robert] Campus said he believes the entire scene was basically a stage, to help actor Steven Seagal's TV show, "Lawman."
Seagal was riding in the tank.
The Sheriff's Department has entered into a contract with Seagal and part of that contract gives Seagal carte blanche to go along with the sheriff as he arrests people.
All of this comes courtesy of Radley Balko, who will soon be bringing his game to these pages. As highlighted in his post, Balko has done some great writing exploring the nexus of police work and reality television, so click over to get a preview of coming attractions.
According to the report, "Thousands of dollars in damages were made to the property and 115 birds were euthanized on the spot," so, hooray! Joe Arpaio is the undisputed king of cockfighting!
Adam Serwer has more.