Bread and Circus. And Chickens. And Tanks.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Sometimes, a story comes along that defies commentary.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio rolled out the tanks to take down a man suspected of cockfighting. 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.

In a massive show of force on Monday, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant and arrested the homeowner, Jesus Llovera, on charges of suspected cockfighting

Llovera was alone in the house at the time of the arrest, and he was unarmed.“I think taxpayers should be shocked,” said Robert Campus, Llovera’s attorney.

Campus said he believes the operation costs tens of thousands of dollars.Deputies had no probable cause to believe Llovera was armed or dangerous, according to Campus.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.

My column on the sad spectacle of reality cop shows here. I also wrote about how the presence of reality show cameras may have contributed to the shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones here.

(Thanks to Franklin Harris for the tip.)

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28 Responses to “Bread and Circus. And Chickens. And Tanks.”

  1. #1 |  David | 

    The cop who shot Jones was never disciplined, was he?

    I know, I know. Stupid question.

  2. #2 |  MassHole | 

    Was Shaq there too?

  3. #3 |  Aresen | 

    I want to phone in an anonymous tip on Steven Seagal’s address with a warning that he is heavily armed.

  4. #4 |  Hartmann | 

    “Anyone else wanna play with cupcake?”

  5. #5 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “The cop who shot Jones was never disciplined, was he? ”
    Maybe the officer used the Obama alibis: Let’s all move on, look forward.

    There should be a ruling on James Mandarino today for billy clubbing that guy in the street.
    “I feared for my life,” he claims. Yeah, right.

  6. #6 |  Chris in AL | 

    Tanks, armored vehicles and SWAT is the special, more gentle, treatment we get for being Americans. Anywhere else we would just use a predator to guide a smart bomb on to the target.

    Americans are so ungrateful!

  7. #7 |  Andrew S. | 

    “We’re going to err on the side of caution. We’re going to make sure that we have the appropriate amount of force in case we do run into anything like that,” said Sgt. Jesse Spurgin.

    WTF would be the level of force to make the police action appropriate here? Did they think he had anti-tank weapons or something?

  8. #8 |  OBTC | 

    Aside from the whole inappropriateness of this raid and the Segal connection:

    What method was employed to euthanized the chickens “on the spot?”
    You’ll notice the article doesn’t say.


  9. #9 |  Juice | 

    Jesus. They probably just went in there and started shooting chickens.

    So, chicken fighting is illegal because it is cruel to chickens, but putting them to sleep (or just shootin’em up) is a ok, because, you know, it’s the cops.

  10. #10 |  Dante | 

    What’s that? You say that Sheriff Joe employed heavy weapons to take down some wayward barnyard fowls? And now the public is outraged over the use of such brutal, violent tactics where none were required?

    And this may cost Sheriff Joe his job?

    ‘Tanks, Joe.

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  12. #12 |  SJE | 

    The taxpayers should be aware of how much damage a tank can do to roads….thats money coming out of your pockets, Arizona.

  13. #13 |  DannnyJ119 | 

    Any updates on how the Aiyana Jones investigation is going, or went?

  14. #14 |  InMD | 

    This comes to mind:

  15. #15 |  buzz | 

    I call BS on this. Like Seagal could fit in a tank.

  16. #16 |  Brandon | 

    From the comments:

    “I do think the Sherriff’s brought out their coolest toys for the cameras for sure. It is justified though if the superior firepower prevents a conflict and leads to a peaceful arrest. It’s simply too intimidating to not surrender to… even if the oponent is a chicken Czar. Also, it is a training exercise to prepare for the day it may be actually needed. I wish they would bring it out more often…..And getting Steven Segal to help pay for it is brilliant.


  17. #17 |  carl ricketson | 

    This sounds like something Dave Berry would write. This Sheriff Arpaio is a character and a half. It would be funny but this guy is really scary when you see his connection to ” Homeland” boss Napolitano.

  18. #18 |  Bergman | 

    As wealthy as Seagal is, you’d think that if he needed to film a tank knocking down a house, he could buy one for the cause…rather than smashing down walls of other people’s houses.

  19. #19 |  marco73 | 

    Sure, lots of police departments have tanks. Big deal. I’ll bet by this time next year, Sheriff Joe is going to have a surplus F-16 for tactical support, and a B-52 for high altitude bombing. He has to have better toys than the other cops.

  20. #20 |  Red | 

    This is what you get for being suspected of a crime while there is no crime in progress.
    Just think of what is going to happen to those that are actually committing a crime like; overgrown lawn, parking in the grass or blocking the sidewalk with a lemonade stand?

  21. #21 |  benEzra | 

    This sounds like a deleted scene from the movie _Idiocracy_.

    Next thing you know, the alleged perpetrator will be sentenced to Monday Night Rehabilitation…

  22. #22 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Sheriff Joe and has been (sorry never was) tough guy Seagal are chicken shit assholes. The sheriff is an affront to any decent policeman left in America. His antics should be followed by dismissal from office and a lengthty prison sentence,where he to deservedly would become an avid cockfighter. That would be justice in America.

  23. #23 |  Joe |

    No pity, no love, nothin’!

  24. #24 |  Dante | 

    I vote we call people who manage fighting birds:

    Cock Jockeys

  25. #25 |  Time | 

    I don’t know what the big deal is. Of course a tank is necissary to take down fighting chickens. What if all those well trained fighting birds had been packing AK’s? Wearing their tiny bullet proof vests?

    Why do you think the tank took out the chicken coop? It’s obvious that is where the real threat came from. They are cockfighters and we all know the police cocks are too small and untrained to handle such an elite criminal gang.

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