Tag Archive for Fairfax County Police Department

VA Teen Faces Felony for Dog Death–Unlike Most Cops Who Kill K9s

On Monday July 25, 2016, 19-year-old Megan Kurtz Campbell was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty for leaving her dog in a hot car outside of a PetSmart in Falls Church, Virginia.

According to a news release from the Fairfax County Police Department:

Police and fire personnel responded to the PetSmart located at 6100 Arlington Boulevard, around 12:23 p.m. for a report of a dog locked inside of a vehicle. Firefighters arrived and immediately determined that the dog was in distress. They entered the vehicle and attempted to cool the dog down but were unsuccessful. The firefighters then transported the dog, a 5-year-old Puggle, to the veterinarian’s office inside the PetSmart, where the dog was pronounced deceased.

Negligently leaving an animal to suffer and die horribly in a hot car is inexcusable and deserves punishment, but a felony seems excessive. If convicted, Campbell will lose not only her voting and second amendment rights, but will also have her ability to even earn a living drastically reduced. Aside from having to disclose her felony conviction on most job applications, she will also be cut off from positions requiring occupational licensing, which, in Virginia includes even interior decorators and nail technicians.

Perhaps justice would be better served by a lesser charge and a substantial number of community service hours where she could toil outside in the hot sun to experience some of the distress her dog experienced locked in the car in 100-degree weather and/or help care for and rehabilitate neglected and mistreated animals at a shelter. That option is more likely to result in rehabilitation than permanently impacting her ability to be a contributing member of society.

The felony charge seems especially harsh considering how leniently law enforcement officers are typically treated for the same exact thing. Their just “doing my job” policy of routinely executing our dogs is another subject entirely.

Using the Officer Down Memorial Page  and Police K9 Handler Review Facebook page, I found reports of sixteen K9s who have died due to the actions of their human handlers this year:

Yet another dog is mysteriously missing and a police officer has been fired for trying pass off another dog as the missing K9.

What has become of these human handlers? The vast majority certainly haven’t experienced the on-site arrest and felony charge that Megan Kurtz Campbell received. Examining only the nine cases involving dogs left in hot cars, I found four that resulted in criminal charges.

  • Dan Peabody of the Cherokee County School Police Department was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals for leaving K9 Inca in a hit car. He has also been charged with making false statements to police regarding retired K9 Dale, who he said choked to death, when he’d actually shot and killed the dog. He resigned from the department before charges were filed.
  • Former Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy John Cummings pleaded guilty to one count of simple animal cruelty and one count of criminal mischief by making a false police report Tuesday……Cummings resigned from the RPSO on Wednesday, June 8. His resignation was accepted in lieu of termination pending other policy violations discovered during an investigation into Duke’s death.Fifth Judicial District Attorney Mack Lancaster said Cummings was required to pay full restitution of over $8,000 to cover the cost of acquiring a replacement K-9 deputy as part of the plea and paid on Tuesday.Lancaster said Cummings also received a six-month suspended sentence on each of the two counts. He will spend two years on supervised probation.”

As of July 13, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office was still investigating the death of K9 Robbie, but details of his handler’s past behavior makes one wonder why he was ever entrusted with another dog:

“Deputy Tommy Willcox was placed on paid administrative leave Monday for circumstances not directly related to the incident with Robbie, said ASO spokesman Lt. Brandon Kutner. Kutner declined to elaborate on the specific circumstances relating to Willcox’s administrative leave…

…Willcox kept Kozar, his second K-9 partner, after the dog retired. He was put down by a gunshot from Willcox during a K-9 training activity in 2008. Kozar was 13-years-old and was suffering from hip dysplasia and other medical concerns. Willcox faced criticism for this, but after an investigation, it was determined that no criminal violations were committed.”

This review shows a disturbing continuing trend of K9 handlers killing the dogs that were entrusted to their care through callous disregard and, in some cases, intentional disregard, and going mostly unpunished for their actions.

If we’re handing out felony convictions and harsh sentences for letting dogs die in hot cars, that’s certainly what these cops deserve in spades. They are, after all, the ones who want people who kill police dogs to be treated the same as if they’d killed a human officer.

Fairfax County Officials—So Transparent, You Can See Right Through Them

That Was Then

Barely a week seems to go by without a public statement being issued by officials in Fairfax County that includes some now-obligatory remark about transparency. They really seem to think that if they say the word enough, the public will actually be fooled into thinking that is the same as being transparent.  It’s a tactic that’s worked before, but residents have seen this particular dog and pony show too many times before.

Here’s the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, trying to pull the wool over our eyes by saying this is a fairly new problem, going back only 2 years.

This is a deliberate, blatant lie. Fairfax County’s secrecy and cover up attempts are legendary, leading local reporters to dub the Fairfax County Police Department “the Secret Police.”

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Fairfax, Virginia — a Sanctuary County for Killer Cops

To remember the many victims of police violence in Fairfax County, and to continue to press for justice and accountability for these deaths, Northern Virginia Cop Block is holding a protest on Tuesday, August 4th in front of the judicial center that houses the police headquarters,  the sheriff’s office, county courthouse, and jail.  This date coincides with National Night Out, an event that the Fairfax County Police Department has been promoting relentlessly on social media, perhaps in the desperate effort to draw attention away from their many transgressions against residents. However, messages like the one below only serve to highlight their staggering hypocrisy in refusing to hold the killer cops in their own ranks accountable for their crimes against the community.

FCPD_NNO

This was one order we couldn’t resist.

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