Actor Steven Seagal and Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office are being sued over a 2011 raid and arrest that a Phoenix-area man says was staged for the actor’s reality TV show “Steven Seagal: Lawman.”
The lawsuit was filed yesterday on behalf of 43-year-old Jesus Llovera.
According to Llovera, Seagal and deputies unlawfully raided his home because they thought he was raising fighting roosters on his property. Llovera insists that the birds were merely for show.
Court records show that 40 deputies, a bomb robot and a tank – hey, it’s Steven Seagal we’re talking about here – were used during the raid.
Llovera’s lawyer wants the case to be dismissed, and he’s seeking unspecified monetary damages for a puppy he said was shot to death by authorities during the raid.
Llovera also said 100 roosters were killed, and his home was damaged.
The suit, which also names the county Board of Supervisors, says it fit a pattern of Joe Arpaio “arresting and prosecuting individuals without probable cause solely for the selfish and improper purposes of achieving personal and political gain through publicity.”
While there’s been no word yet from Seagal regarding the suit, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office says that the search warrant “was going to occur with or without Seagal” and “was not based at all on the needs of the production company.”
Here is a news clip of the Steven Seagal cockfighting raid from 2011:
While we may never be able to see the actual footage of the raid (Llovera refused to sign the release that would allow it to be aired on Seagal’s Lawman show), do you think a 40 man SWAT team and a tank is a little overkill for an alleged one man cockfighting operation?
via Tucson Citizen