Free Markets, Free People

Joe Arpaio


Law enforcement and show business–the two should never mix

Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Steven Segal have apparently teamed up to give Segal’s reality show about law enforcement some umph.  It has led to a pretty bizarre and dangerous bust.  But not “dangerous” in the way you might think.

Apparently Arpaio called out just about everything with a badge to bust a, wait for it, suspected cockfighting entrepreneur.

No, really:

Of course Crooks and Liars, where the vid comes from had to sensationalize even further an already outrageous story by saying a “tank” was used.

It wasn’t a tank.  It was an armored car (and an ancient one at that).

armoredcar

But to take down a suspected cock fighter, it took Arpaio, tens of deputies, a SWAT team, bomb robot and armored car?  Oh, and a film crew — don’t forget the film crew.

This is the point Radley Balko makes constantly about the militarization of the police in this country.  If they have it, they want to use it.  And when you use things like armored cars and SWAT teams, bad things can happen.

One of the things police don’t seem to do very well is due diligence intelligence work.  Had they spent any time whatsoever watching the place they felt compelled to use the armored car and SWAT team on, they’d have discovered that the owner was there alone, unarmed and … asleep.

Guys like Arpaio scare the living crap out me.  Good police work doesn’t require “overwhelming force” the vast majority of the time.  And this was obviously one of them.  It makes sense in military doctrine when you attack an enemy.  Police, on the other hand, enforce the law.  They should be trained and required to use only the force necessary to do that.  The opportunity for something to go horribly wrong are increased every time an operation like this is mounted.

It obviously wasn’t necessary to destroy property like Arpaio did here to arrest this man.  But then, it wouldn’t be much of a show for Segal if all that happened was a couple of deputies knocking on the door and arresting a sleepy man for suspected cock fighting would it?

The tail, in this case, is wagging a very dangerous dog.

~McQ

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