So Steven Seagal is now filming his little cop-show in Arizona, with Everyone’s Least Favorite Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Mr. Seagal just happened to be along on a little raid of a suspected cock-fighting operation. Rather than do something rational like knock on the door yelling “THIS IS THE POLICE AND WE HAVE A WARRANT!”, somebody decided that the most prudent way to conduct this operation was to have “armored vehicles, including a tank” come through the neighborhood and knock one wall of the suspect’s home down. Neighbors panicked and called 911. It turns out that the suspect was alone and unarmed in the home. In the end, “Thousands of dollars in damages were made to the property and 115 birds were euthanized on the spot.”
Now, I’m going to ignore the nagging suspicion that maybe the chickens were in fact run over by the tank.
I’m even going to ignore the fact that the suspect in this case is still a suspect — innocent until proven guilty and all — who has just had his home made uninhabitable and un-securable. Nor will he be able to make arrangements for repairs to make his home secure until he can post bail or be found innocent. In other words, he’d better plan on never seeing any of his possessions again.
I’ll even ignore the undue fear created by police officers in the community, the role of the TV cameras, and all the controversy that curls around Sheriff Arpaio like Rapunzel’s hair.
Here’s my question: in a day and age of budget cuts everywhere, how and why does any civilian law enforcement agency own and maintain a TANK?
Seriously, with cash-strapped state and local governments everywhere you look, don’t you think that just maybe the tanks and other armored vehicles should be the first thing to go? Is it really that important to be able to knock down the occasional wall? And if so, wouldn’t it be more cost effective to rent an tank team from the local National Guard unit for the afternoon?
Not even Radley Balko knew what to say about this one. What a shame he’s moving to HuffPo.
In closing: HowTo; Sahara; Democrats don’t do P90X?; zombie nuclear dump; flipflop; Thorium; who could have thought that “metabolic abnormalities in obese teens may relate to poor diets”??; Busted has a point; shirt; uncertainty; and that’s it for the day.