Drug Policy

Leon Lott's Big Toy

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When I first read that Richland County, South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott was planning to pursue charges against Michael Phelps, I thought the sheriff's name looked familiar.

Then I remembered, I wrote about him in the Citings section of our December issue.

In March the sheriff and SWAT team of Richland County, South Carolina, posedfor a photo with an impressive new piece of equipment: an M113A1 armored personnel carrier. The vehicle, which moves on tank-like tracks, features a belt-fed, turreted machine gun that fires .50-caliber rounds.

The sheriff, Leon Lott, obtained the $300,000 vehicle through the 1033 program, named for a 1997 federal law streamlining the Defense Department's transfer of surplus military equipment to local police departments…

Charles Earl Barnett, a U.S. Marines veteran and retired police major who has served on several United Nations and NATO military and peacekeeping missions, says a .50-caliber machine gun is "completely inappropriate" for domestic police work. It "causes mass death and destruction," Barnett says. "It's indiscriminate. I can't think of a possible scenario where it would be appropriate."

Sheriff Lott has named his new acquisition The Peacemaker, explaining in a press release that the name is fitting because "the bible refers to law enforcement in Matthew 5:9 'Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.' "

Let's just hope God helps the next kid who lights up at a University of South Carolina frat party.

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  1. I don’t know if that passage was referring to peacemakers in that retarded Texan way, or if it was actually referring to people who believe in and spread peace and love.

  2. Sheriff Lott has named his new acquisition The Peacemaker, explaining in a press release that the name is fitting because “the bible refers to law enforcement in Matthew 5:9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ “

    I’m pretty damn sure Jesus wasn’t talking about the Roman constabulary, and he *definitely* wasn’t talking about peace being made at the point of a sword/barrel of a gun.

    What an ass.

  3. Sheriff Lott has named his new acquisition The Peacemaker,

    Because M113A1 Armored Personal Carrier is too hard to say in conversation, son.

    Also, as has been said, most out of context bible quotation, ever.

  4. I bet that thing could kill a lot of dogs!

  5. Not only that, but there’s a related September H&R post featuring a photo (to which Wikipedia’s entry on the county happens to link).

  6. I bet that thing could kill a lot of dogs!

    [Laughs weakly.]

    [sounds of retching]

  7. Hey, look, Phelps is a big dude, and he’s fast. They need that .50 cal in case he makes a break for it in a nearby body of water.

  8. This is for their much anticipated catnip raid on the local pound.

  9. Texan? Is Sherrif Lott from Texas? I assumed he was born in South Carolina (although his comments remind me of a certain yankee born in Milton, Massachusetts in 1946).

  10. What a sick, sick fuck.
    America needs someone like this guy.

  11. Is [Sheriff] Lott from Texas? I assumed he was born in South Carolina[…]

    It looks like he was born in Aiken.

  12. Barnett says: “It’s indiscriminate. I can’t think of a possible scenario where it would be appropriate.”

    Well Barnett, what if you have to serve a warrant on a GUN OWNER?

  13. In a free society the military would give me an equal chance at obtaining a de-accessioned APC with a .50 BMG machine gun. I bid $300,001.

  14. #2, Would this be the same Jesus who said he came not to bring peace but the sword?

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  15. Why are fundies so fucking hypocritical? I remember it being a central theme of the gospels.

  16. Looks like some people still aren’t getting the message.

  17. Would this be the same Jesus who said he came not to bring peace but the sword?

    That would make him, roughly, not a peacemaker. Therefore, the Matthew 5 passage does not apply to him.

  18. Just another escalation in the War on Dogs (WoD).

  19. SIV-

    $40K. And AUD to boot. The post says they had 62 of them 4 years ago, may still have some left. Got to go to New Zealand though. (which I’m guessing is quite nice this time of year).

  20. When President Obama talks about my M-1A semiauto “assault weapon” he says “such military weapons belong only on foreign battlefields.”

    Who knew that included South Carolina?

  21. When I read his name, I initially thought of this.

  22. Would this be the same Jesus who said he came not to bring peace but the sword?

    Again, Wikipedia is our friend.

  23. Anyone who tows the lion for the Drug Was as hard as Sheriff Lott does, needs a big ass gun.

  24. the bible refers to law enforcement in Matthew 5:9

    Uh…

  25. There was another Leon guy that was big on terrorizing the citizenry to bring them into line.

    He ended up with an icepick in his skull on orders from a regular joe that was even bigger into terror.

  26. Right, Ed. Let’s hope the whole Clemson student body gets out in front, a la Tank Guy in Tianemen Square, and foils this dipshit sheriff’s plans.

  27. It pisses me off that no one wore a tank guy tee shirt on the medal stand at the last olympics.

  28. Hey, don’t blame all Texans for the rotten ones. Some of us actually care about our civil liberties.

    And I’m not a Christian, but even I know Matthew 5:9 refers to those who peacefully settle conflicts between warring parties, not to law enforcement.

  29. Let’s hope the whole Clemson student body gets out in front, a la Tank Guy in Tianemen Square

    An American who could get himself videotaped doing it would become an instant hero.

  30. I’m a wee bit concerned about civilian Police personnel armed with an APC and a .50 cal turret. What on earth could cops possibly need a weapon of tha mass destruction in a city?
    I don’t think these yokels understand the significant damage that a .50 cal can inflict!

    JFC

    A .50 cal round can obliterate human flesh. I had to pull countless amounts of shrapnel out of Iraqi civilians that got caught in the cross fire of American troops and Iraqi rebels. Its not pretty. Quite literally a pound of flesh is lost when someone is hit with one of these rounds. If it dosn’t kill them. I’ve seen what happens when a Marine walks infront of one that is firing. we had to use a turkey baster to pick up most of his face.

    I removed 4 rolls of curlex, and I was forearm deep in a guys backside pulling out dead tissue and chunks of flesh.
    The guy took a .50 cal round to the thigh, it wrapped around to his buttocks. He was lucky he didn’t tear an artery.

    These weapons do not belong in American streets, much less in the hands of hard core Drug busting, dog shooting yokels.

    I don’t care if he was a Marine, that doesn’t qualify him to terrorize civilians.

    disgusting.

    Doc

    “The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion.” -Albert Einstein

  31. I’ll pound sand right up your ass.

  32. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

    Sounds a bit full of himself?

    This is why I am an Atheist.

  33. Leon Lott? Did Don Boobe knock the football out of his hand as he was just about to score?

  34. Come on. Who here wouldn’t get an M113 for driving to the grocery, or just generally around, if given the chance to buy one? Plus there’s the allure of being able to drive your enemy before you, shoot his dogs, hear the lamentations of his women, etc.

  35. “””I’m pretty damn sure Jesus wasn’t talking about the Roman constabulary, and he *definitely* wasn’t talking about peace being made at the point of a sword/barrel of a gun.”””

    I’ve had some people, mostly christian right-wingers, argure that Jesus is pro-torture and pro-war. I kid you not.

    I guess I should expect that from people who want to marry religion with politics.

  36. Medic:

    Unfortunately, lots of yahoos (in TX and elsewhere) think they need big guns, big trucks, big whatever to prove they are “real men.” As a woman, I look at guys like that as needing to compensate for a certain inadequacy.

    I can only imagine the horrific damage you describe, and I’m sure my imagination does it no justice. Let’s hope this jerk never actually decides to use that thing.

  37. I can only imagine the horrific damage you describe, and I’m sure my imagination does it no justice. Let’s hope this jerk never actually decides to use that thing.

    I don’t like the odds on that. “Why have if you’re not going to use it?” seem to be the prevailing attitude in regards to such things. That’s how we’ll wind up with SWAT teams doing dynamic entry warrant service on delinquent parking tickets and housing code violations, if that isn’t happening already.

  38. I’ve often thought that if I had enough money, I would collect tanks and APCs and drive them around on my gigantic ranch. I could use them to hunt elephants, or something. That would be rad.

    However, redneck cops are better off without such toys.

  39. Xeones,

    Only if it had 24″ chrome wheels. Then I’m sold.

  40. Hormonal Redhead,

    A lot of cities in North Texas want the same toys Sheriff Lott has.

    http://www.treygarrison.com/2009/02/stimulating-the-militarization-of-north-texas-police/

    And some nice landscaping, too.

  41. David: “I don’t like the odds on that. “Why have if you’re not going to use it?” seem to be the prevailing attitude in regards to such things.”

    Unfortunately, you’re probably right. Though I doubt anyone’s going to take Lott’s new toy away from him. Of course, if he did use it and the end result was horrible enough, it might get him ousted as sheriff. But I don’t wish that kind of damage on anyone. That would be the ends justifying the means, which is the kind of thinking that got us the whole War on Freedom to begin with.

  42. Trey:

    Oh, joy. Wish they’d all take nice landscaping and leave the military toys to the military. Arlington does have some gang troubles, not sure about Irving, but Frisco??? Geez!

    Thanks for something else to worry about. 🙂

    *reaches for the Midol*

  43. Coming from someone who has a sister, brother-in-law, 6-year old niece and 3-year old nephew in Richland County, I hope this moronic excuse for a “peace” officer, is quickly tossed from office. I can’t imagine in what fever dream this foolish, foolish man imagined the necessity of such a powerful weapon. We’re not all a bunch of yahoo’s down here and I will certainly do everything I can to toss this idiot out of office.

  44. Richland County, South Carolina, is thousands of miles away, but I can detect the odor of bacon from all the way over there.

  45. McDizzle: “We’re not all a bunch of yahoo’s down here and I will certainly do everything I can to toss this idiot out of office.”

    I’ll be rooting for ya. If I could vote against him, I would. May your family be safe.

    Btw, my “yahoo” comment at 4:35 wasn’t intended to call most people from SC (or TX, my home state) “yahoos,” just to imply that there are a lot of them around making life difficult for the rest of us.

  46. Wanna bet Arpaio is jealous? I’d wager Lott is just waiting for a biker rally to pop up in his county, gotta limber up that .50 once in a while.

  47. Anyone who wants to wear a badge should be required to first watch every episode* of The Andy Griffith Show and write 5,000 words on Sheriff Taylor as a model for conflict resolution and professional disposition.

    *-the color ones don’t count

  48. I think Deacon Jones once called Leon Lott a “bona fide idiot”.

  49. To echo The Medic’s comment above, there is no earthly use for a .50 cal machine gun in domestic law enforcement. A .50 round will go completely through just about every building within a mile of you. The certainty of collateral damage should discourage anybody with a brain from using one.

  50. Go ‘Cocks!

  51. I believe it was a .50 gun on the APC that my Pops rode in Viet Nam. One anecdote had him and the crew test firing the gun until they got word on the radio that an Army Corps of Engineers unit was pinned down by machine gun fire about a mile away. Powerful machine guns make for some powerful hijinks!

  52. Richland County holds the University of South Carolina not Clemson University. I consider it an unconscionable statement to compare the beautiful idyllic setting of Clemson University to the ugly hellhole that is the city of Columbia, South Carolina.

    The joke in the state is that the only thing that separates Columbia from Hell is a screen door.

    The cops in Clemson are more into busting underage drinking than doing anything hard like drug busts.

  53. I look at guys like that as needing to compensate for a certain inadequacy.

    That’s only because you, like most women, don’t understand men. Cool toys don’t make our cocks seem any bigger to us. Driving four wheel drive trucks through mud is fun (driving them on clean highways is expensive and wasteful). Shooting guns is fun. Riding motorcycles or ATVs is fun. Even the most pacifist left-wing non-macho-type men will admit they like doing these things – once you get them out to try it.

    I have an ultra-left buddy (thinks NPR is conservative) who after going shooting with me said, “shooting guns is pretty fun”. His penis didn’t feel any bigger…as far as I know. Well, maybe it did. I didn’t ask.

  54. “Shooting guns is fun. Riding motorcycles or ATVs is fun. Even the most pacifist left-wing non-macho-type men will admit they like doing these things – once you get them out to try it.”

    Since a woman’s life predominantly revolves around the size her tits, and the size of other women’s tits, they attempt to apply that same type of Freudian logic to men who simply want to have fun.

    Things like the pursuit of adventure and tinkering, and the tools that typically come with them are based in evolutionary psychology, not feminist daydreaming.

  55. Next month, Drug Warrior Leon Lott will request high speed boats, submarines, and jet skis to help his fight against fast swimmers doing something less harmful than alcohol. You know, in the name of economic stimulus to create jobs.

  56. “Let’s hope the whole Clemson student body gets out in front, a la Tank Guy in Tianemen Square

    An American who could get himself videotaped doing it would become an instant hero.”

    Or, more likely, Instant Cream of Wheat.

  57. Sure, bigbigslacker, these cops who are using weapons that far outstrip what is necessary are just having “fun”. There is an obvious element of satisfaction–which comes from having power one didn’t have before such a weapon. There’s a huge difference between an ATV and a 50-cal.

  58. Jesus H Christ. There are times when I’m glad I live in the United Commonwealth of Australia.

  59. Hey Leon…get a fucking life!!!

  60. I wonder if Leon would mow down Jesus with his new toy if he knew that Jesus smoked peyote…..?

    Baptists!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha

  61. Just a look at this guy’s web page http://www.rcsd.net/bio.html is a look at someone that is pretty pathetic. His “I love me wall” is amazing, the only thing that I didn’t see there was his certificate for not wetting himself for a whole week in kindergarten.

    Richmond County has a website that includes tourism. I think that one would have a better time vacationing in Gaza.

  62. Back when the good Sheriff was still working Narcotics, he dressed like Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice and drove a confiscated Porsche-why does his aquisition of an armored personnel carrier not surprise me-corrupt and indiscriminate law enforcement is nothing new for the South

  63. Leon Lott is a whack job. He advances his own selfish desires as he “steals” from taxpayers for his twisted kinks. Look into his life, his taxpayer paid purchases as sheriff, and his routine abuse of power.

    Leon Lott should be locked up. One example – Lott is a habitual speeder. The “act of speeding” is dangerous, it kills and it terrorizes. His continual, unabashed speeding is a willful act that destroys other people for personal emotional gain. Lott is a dangerous terrorist. However, the “act of smoking pot” does not kill – ever. Acts performed while high might be dangerous, but, the act of taking a bong hit is a benign act. Acts of speeding cause other people to die, when performed deliberately as in Lott’s case, and therefore, is terrorist behavior.

    Jail Leon Lott and Save the world.

    eMail Leon Lott at: sheriff@rcsd.net

  64. Leon Lott sounds like he has been smoking crack cocaine! Is he just doingthis for the publicity? If this were in Canada or other civilized countries it would have barely been mentioned. Leon go and catch some real criminals

  65. I’ve lived 50 years now and thought I’d seen some pretty petty and stupid shit in my life. But this crazed vendetta that Lott seems to have for a kid that hit a bong at a frat party is just mind-blowing to say the least. I’ve been paying taxes that support assholes like this for over 35 years now and it’s really starting to piss me off. This self centered, holier than though nut-job needs to step back and take a long look at himself. Fucking Corruption with a capital C. With all the real violence and hard crime we have going on in the world today this is so meaningless and not to mention costly to all taxpayers. The best he could get even in a conviction is a misdemeanor possession charge,.. WOW.. let’s spend a few hundred thousand on extradition and court costs to bust this kid that smoke five dollars worth of weed. IDIOT!

  66. BTW.. I’ve also been smoking weed for 35 years while holding a job, paying my taxes, raising a family, and being a responsible citizen. I’ve never robbed, killed, cheated, raped, pillaged…etc. GET A FUCKING LIFE LEON!!!!

  67. Leon is just another dumb hick in a starched clown suit on a fast power trip to nowhere. Thankfully, egos like his usually blow a tire from over-inflation right before they crash and burn. He’ll be in the news again, and it’ll be entertaining, I’m sure.

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