Steven Seagal, 60, the former action film star who bills himself as “an accomplished actor, musician, martial artist, and philanthropist,” went from Hollywood to Arizona in 2010 to become one of 56 men Sheriff Joe Arpaio swore in as members of his 3,450-strong Freikorps. With him at the time was TV’s “Incredible Hulk,” Lou Ferrigno.
After his dismal reality series, Steven Seagal: Lawman, was canceled in 2011, the still former action film star, Seagal became a deputy in Hudspeth County, Texas, taking responsibility for 98 miles of border with Mexico, an area encompassing some 5,500 square miles.
Now, the still-still former action film star has been hired by Joe Arpaio to teach his deputies how to rescue kids from schools. The Chicago Tribute reported this weekend that,
Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” enlisted Seagal to train his Maricopa County posse members at a school in Fountain Hills, a suburb northeast of Phoenix, with children used as stand-ins for scared students.
Seagal’s grandiose claim was that, “I am here to try to teach the posse firearms and martial arts to try to help them learn how to respond quicker and help protect our children.”
Arpaio, who recently won a sixth term as Sheriff of Maricopa County, said, “I want everybody to know that we’re going to be around those schools, that if you do something we will be armed, and we’re going into the schools to save our kids.” He was pounding on a podium as he spoke.
I wonder if Seagal also taught them where to place the cameras, and how to capture the right angles, and which deputy should enter the shot when, just in time to be shot, or to get somebody else shot.
When he was in on a seizure of 500 pounds of marijuana for Sheriff Joe last year, he made sure the cameras were rolling.
Seagal is an actor, not a trained SWAT team member (he was a reserve deputy in Louisiana). The 48 volunteers trained by Seagal likely just learned how to look good as they completely fuck up a rescue operation.
This is another example of how Republicans prefer cosmetic to substantive changes with regards to any issue that might arise, from education to economy to gun violence, or even politics in general.
Reality is not something you can script. You cannot run your law enforcement activities like a reality show.
Seagal, like any good conservative (including, especially, Arpaio himself), embraces bombast, having said while working as a border deputy,
“I work in Texas on the border, and Arizona on the border, and there is a lot of crazy stuff going on with the border wars these days. Probably more than 50,000 people have been killed in the border wars over the last few years, which is way more than Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’t you think this should be declared a war too?”
Seagal’s mantra has been, “They asked me to teach them because they know I know stuff that they don’t know.” Yes, you’re oh so important, Steven.
Apparently, one thing Seagal doesn’t know, or care about, is vetting his vigilantes. ABC News reports,
However, as ABC/Univision previously noted, according to a local CBS affiliate, some of Arpaio’s posse members have criminal records.
Their investigation “uncovered a number of posse members with arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer – and the list goes on.”
But they, they’re white guys anxious to wipe out icky brown people and maybe get to cap somebody in the head. What’s a pedophile pretending to be a cop compared to that?
Vigilantes. A former movie star. A thug posing as a sheriff. Protecting our children. Are you not entertained?
As cosmetic upgrades go, this one doesn’t go far.
Photo from the Christian Science Monitor