A man in Maricopa County, Arizona, was suspected of cockfighting, and infamous self-promoter Sheriff Joe Arpaio wanted him arrested. Usually you would just get a search warrant and arrest this person, peacefully, if there was enough evidence.
But Sheriff Joe instead opted to use a "massive show of force" — including a tank! — on Monday to apprehend the man, who was asleep at the time. It scared the shit out of nearby neighbors, for good reason. From KPHO Phoenix:
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.
Thousands of dollars in damage were made to the property, and police did find chickens. 115 were "euthanized on the spot."
So why did police use such a heavy hand? Because it makes for great television, of course! And that's just what actor Steven Seagal was filming, from the tank, during this raid: A television show.
[The suspect'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.
Arizona, you guys.
[via Radley Balko/Reason]