Reality TV Turns Surreal as Celebrity Cop Steven Seagal Joins Joe Arpaio in Cockfighting Raid

Imagine 2050 Staff • Mar 26, 2011

Originally posted on AlterNet / By Joshua Holland.

The world of celebrity ‘tough-guy’ law enforcement took a bizarre turn this week when chubby middle-aged action hero Steven Seagal, a SWAT team and two tanks accompanied controversial Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio on a daring raid that resulted in the arrest of a single unarmed man charged with raising chickens for cockfights.

The raid accomplished its primary objective – getting the media to pay Arpaio some attention – but it wasn’t the end of the story. After the action, Seagal told reporters that he had been operating “on loan” from the Jefferson Parrish sheriff’s department outside New Orleans, which had been hosting his A & E “reality” show, Steven Seagal: Lawman. But according to Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times, Seagal, who had been a reserve officer in Jefferson Parrish, wasn’t in fact “on loan” from the sheriff’s department – he had resigned his position rather than face an internal affairs investigation into “allegations of sex trafficking and sexual assault raised in a 2010 lawsuit by an ex-employee.”

According to Lemons,

“[Seagal] was facing an internal affairs investigation immediately following the outcome of his lawsuit,” said [Jefferson Parrish Sheriff Newell Normand] via his spokesman. “And he refused to return to Jefferson Parish, at which time he tendered his resignation.”

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