Target: Mayor Mark Olson, City of Atwater, Minnesota
Goal: Demand retribution against police chief who beat and decapitated a young boy’s pet chicken
Ashley Turnbull gave her five-year-old son a chicken for his birthday and he fell in love with it, as much as other youth love their puppies. It was only after the birthday that Ms. Turnbull was informed of a city ordinance against poultry. While she did not act immediately, as her son was naturally attached to his new pet, she never expected the police chief to become a butcher in her backyard.
Police Chief Trevor Berger answered a noise complaint from a neighbor caused by something sounding like poultry. Entering the Turnbull’s back yard while they were not home, he discovered the chicken coop. The police chief said that he noticed the little red chicken out of the coop crossing over into another lot. Then, as two other chickens and two ducks started leaving the coop because of the door that Berger himself had opened, he grabbed a shovel and went after the little red chicken. He states that he didn’t want to use his gun on the chicken as there were children in the neighborhood. What Berger failed to notice, however, was the neighbor in the back yard with his young daughter, who then witnessed Berger swinging the shovel up and down beating the little red chicken. Berger then decapitated the chicken and picked up the corpse, leaving its head in the backyard where Turnbull’s son could have come across it. This officer of the law entered this backyard and physically killed an animal, which was technically the property of the Turnbull family.
Police Chief Berger believed he was answering a noise complaint and took action, however, he showed a complete disregard for animals and the personal property of the citizens he is supposed to safeguard. Turnbull understands that she violated the ordinance and was not quick enough to find another location for her son’s pets, but at no point did she ever expect a callous event like this to take place. If any action should have been taken, a ticket should have been issued to Turnbull, not the blatant disregard for property and the life of a boy’s pet.
Please sign the petition below to urge the City of Atwater to take strong action reprimanding this civil servant, demand an apology to Ashley Turnbull and her son, and reimburse the family for the loss of their beloved pet chicken.
Dear Mayor Olson,
You must immediately reprimand Police Chief Trevor Berger for his actions involving the heartless slaughter of the Turnbull family pet.
Entering a private backyard and engaging in animal cruelty through the brutal bludgeoning and decapitation of a pet chicken is surely not the action you wish from your police force, not to mention its captain. Such disregard for your citizen’s property and their pets is not to be taken lightly. Police Chief Berger usurped proper procedure and the justice system by appointing himself judge, jury and executioner.
Police Chief Berger needs harsh reprimand and recompense must be made to the Turnbull family. This was a shameless display of power and cruelty by someone who is supposed to safeguard your citizens. Please correct this situation and do right by a little boy that lost his pet to this act of barbarism.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Public Doman by Erica Zahn via Wikimedia Commons