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  1. #1
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    Aug 2003
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    Family whose dog was shot by a cop settles for $77,500

    Almost two years after a North Carolina family's dog was shot during an infamous Interstate 40 traffic stop, the pet's owners will be paid $77,500 to settle a lawsuit against the city of Cookeville and the police officer who leveled his shotgun at the canine.

    The settlement in the U.S. District Court case filed by James and Pamela Smoak of Saluda, N.C., was accepted several weeks ago and became public Thursday when documents were filed in court.

    ''That amount includes their attorney's fees, that's everything,'' City Manager Jim Shipley said.

    ''It was just right up against the trial date. They were still in some depositions, but it was not far from trial. Just all of a sudden the offers started kind of going back and forth and we settled,'' Shipley said.


    The city manager said the settlement was not an admission of guilt on the city's part. ''We felt like we had a good case and we did nothing wrong. We admitted no liability in the settlement. In my opinion, it was a good economic decision,'' Shipley said.

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  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    That was a horrible thing to watch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Big D
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    I think the officer is in need of some counseling - he acted crazy (and mad) the minute he stopped them - like this family had hand grenades in the back seat or something. I would be concerned that he would shoot a person next time. Just unexcuseable IMHO - this was far beyond reasonable and professional behavior even if he had some reason to feel threatened. If he had kept his composure the dog would have remained closed safely in the car and none of this would have happened. Poor family - what a nightmare!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    That video stayed with me for a long time. Whenever I had my dog in the car I would make sure that he was attached to something so he couldn't follow me out. If an officer could freak out because of the dog in this case, I wondered what one would do with my 120 pound German Shepherd, who took his commands in German.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    1,036
    Thanks for the update on this Cass. I live about an hour from where this happened and for the longest that was all we saw on thew news. Such a terrible thing to do to this dog. After watching I was convinced the dog was doing everything but attacking this cop.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Manhattan
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    7,140
    I will never forget that video. It was heart wrenching and horrible to think it happened in front of the children. The police were totally over the top and the dog was NOT threatening at all. He was wagging his tail for heaven's sake. I have great admiration and sympathy for LE and in most situations I think they do a good job, a thankless job. But not in this one. That cop deserved to be fired because he was a loose cannon.