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Cookeville agrees to $77,500 for police killing a family's pet

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 2nd Amendment, Nov 22, 2004.

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  1. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    ''COOKEVILLE (AP) -- The City of Cookeville will pay a family whose dog was shot by police $77,000 as part of a settlement.

    Two years ago, the Smoak family of Saluda, N.C., were wrongly targeted as thieves by police who pulled their car over and handcuffed them. [ family dog shot ]

    Their dog escaped the vehicle after police ignored their pleas to shut the car door.

    The settlement in the lawsuit against the city of Cookeville and the police officer who leveled his shotgun at the canine came this week in District Court.

    The city admitted no wrongdoing.

    The traffic stop that prompted the lawsuit was captured by a video camera inside an officer's patrol car. The action was seen around the world and sparked thousands of complaints to state officials.

    A case against the Tennessee Highway Patrol case may also be headed for a settlement, said Mary Parker, attorney for the Smoaks. ''


    www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=2595979

    I'd say it's a shame the people of the city will be the ones who actually pay this in the long run, but they are the people who allow these individuals to be cops in their community so, in the end, they are just as responsible as the clown who pulled the trigger.
     
  2. BigG

    BigG Member

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  3. Tory

    Tory member

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    The city was stupid to contest the case.

    It could have settled the matter quietly and inexpensively, had it been intelligent instead of arrogant and incompetent - but then, the same can be said of its police officer.

    Now its irresponsible and callous action is - again - international news AND it has to pay far more than it could have settled for, especially when one includes the tax dollars the city wasted paying its attorneys to defend a clearly wrong action.

    The good news is, it may serve as a warning to other such departments. :mad:
     
  4. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas Member

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    I'm really glad to see this happen.

    I remeber this case and the video well, seemed too quick on the trigger.
    A family pet killed in front of kids in that manner was very damaging for them to witness. From the BATFE stomping family pets to a recent local shooting it seems that too often pets are killed with no worries as most courts view them as property of little value.
    Sometimes a vicious dog may need to be shot but that dog was wagging it's tail and certainly didn't appear to be in attack mode.
    CT
     
  5. Battlespace

    Battlespace Member

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    It depends on where I happen to be
    IMHO the trigger happy cop should have to pay it.
     
  6. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Just as an aside someone on another forum told me today about a local cop shooting...wait for it...a family's pet turkey recently. Claimed it appeared threatening. :) Hopefully they'll come up with an online link for that story but even if they don't it's just too silly to be a lie. :)
     
  7. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Threatening or TASTY?!
     
  8. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Well, I suppose that would depend on whether the officer left the corpse or carted it away for "further investigation". :)
     
  9. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I remember the case also, and I think the officers involved were very out of line.

    The punishment (ie, the payout by the city to the family) doesn't fit the wrongdoing by the officer.

    Appropriate punishment would have been for the police man to lose his job, and be forbidden to carry a badge again.

    It was a dog this time, but next time it could just as easily be a person.
     
  10. Grey54956

    Grey54956 Member

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    No. The punishment does fit the crime. Most of the time I would agree that this is too high a figure, but I've been doing some thinking.

    It was the city that hired the officers in question. It was the city that gave them badges and authority. It was the city who incorrectly trusted the officers involved with the public safety and well-being. The city needs to be punished to such an extent as it actually stings a little.

    While $77G seems a bit much, the city will feel it. Maybe the city will be a little more careful next time.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Government never does.
     
  12. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Grey54956,

    I think you miss my point.

    The $70,000 the city is paying is not punishing the right people. The inidividual involved in the problem, and his superiors should have been just flat out punished in some way, whether it was by job loss or making them personally pay.

    All that happened here is that tax payers will have to foot the bill. The actual wrong-doers don't get punished at all.
     
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    It is extremely rare, even if punitive damages are assessed on an individual officer, to get that officer to pay. Most employing government agencies will pay the officer's punitive assessment because they know if they don't, the officer will turn around and sue the city for not properly training him to handle the situation that turned bad.

    Pilgrim
     
  14. Carlos

    Carlos Member

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    Darn shame, Officer Hall didn't have to pay this, yup.

    Man, I'm glad this one is over. The morons could have settled this long ago. After seeing the interview with the officer, where he's saying the dog 'didn't obey lawful commands, and I was in fear....', I've never been more disgusted with LEO mentalities such as his (have LEO in family, etc., so don't go there).

    Officer Hall should not be an officer of the law.

    And, I've seen all the LEO smearing against the family who was mistakenly pulled over "Felony style" over on a gunboard I won't mention. Amazing stuff.

    :(
     
  15. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Then fire his butt and get rid of the problem entirely.
     
  16. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    Just wondering, are police officers immune from civil suits?
     
  17. Boats

    Boats member

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    Generally speaking, yes they are. As long as they were acting within the course and scope of their employment, they enjoy what is called indemnification which in plain English merely means that though they may be found personally responsible for their misdeeds, any judgement will be paid by the government.
     
  18. jnojr

    jnojr Member

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    Sounds like someone who's never been chased by an irate tom! :) Trust me... if you had a gun, and one of those things came after you, you'd shoot it, too.
     
  19. jnojr

    jnojr Member

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    Hell, no! Cops and lawsuits are like Marines and overseas duty... there are cops who have been sued, cops who are being sued, and cops who will be sued. In practice, their employers (usually) handle their defense and pay out any awards. But that doesn't stop the officers themselves (and everyone else within earshot) being named defendants/respondants.
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    the situation sucked all the way around
    on the whole though, the cops here are not your usual pet-stompers

    -resident of cookeville
     
  21. joebogey

    joebogey Member

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    jnojr

    {Sounds like someone who's never been chased by an irate tom! Trust me... if you had a gun, and one of those things came after you, you'd shoot it, too}

    Not only will you shoot, but should you miss, you'll find a need to kick, stomp, fight with your fists, swing sticks, and throw rocks. They don't give up easily.
     
  22. Jeeper

    Jeeper Member

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    I am really happy that someone had to pay for this. Even though it was the city, the police will end up changing their policy. Didnt this cop have a history of killing pets also? Maybe i am remembering wrong.
     
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