Target: St. Louis Police Department Chief Patrick Herblet
Goal: Personally apologize to the family whose Golden Retriever was murdered as an act of police brutality and suspend the officer responsible
The incident occurred in Gratiot County of St. Louis, Michigan. Neighbor Lori Wimsley was outside at the time and said that 8-year-old Golden Retriever Scout was playing outside. He ran to her yard as she called him over to play, and shortly after ran back into his own yard when a police officer appeared on the scene. He attempted to catch the dog after asking Wimsley whether the dog was hers and learning that it was not. Upon cornering the dog, and producing from it a “little growl”, the officer proceeded to shoot the dog in the head several times.
Protestors would later form a group at the site of the shooting and march to St. Louis City Hall and Clapp Park, where around 100 supporters were present with their own pets, t-shirts, and signs. St. Louis Police Chief Patrick Herblet has told the media that “he and the officer that fired the shots are very sorry for the Goetzinger’s loss, but he said he cannot take any further action against the officer with the information that is available to him at this time.”
This is not satisfactory, and the dog’s owner Brian Goetzinger is asking for an apology from either the officer or the department, as well as consideration that the officer step down from his position if not at least suspended. The reasoning many feel is that the officer no longer stands as a respectable authority figure. These requests are appropriate, while the officers actions clearly were not. Demand that the family receives its apology and that the officer face suspension.
Dear Chief Herblet,
One of your officers recently gunned down an 8-year-old Golden Retriever named Scout in an unprovoked incident when he was found playing outside his house. You have stated that action against the officer with the “information provided” cannot be made. Even in the event that the dog had showed slight aggression, the actions taken by your officer were completely unacceptable and inappropriate, reflecting on your department in an extremely poor manner.
It is necessary that the officer in question give a personal apology to the dog’s owner, Brian Goetzinger, first and foremost. Moreover, residents have voiced their opinions that the officer can no longer be viewed as a respected person of authority within the community. Because of this, we ask that you suspend the officer from duty and consider the possibility of relieving him of his position. The gravity of the killing should not be ignored or overlooked; a lack of respect for a member of the community, human or not, was shown in the most aggressive and final way possible. It is your duty as a responsible leader and community protector to maintain the respectability of your department and show that such behavior will not go without consequence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hawkeye Pilot via Flickr