Dog-kicking officer ordered reinstated
The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled today that Charles Jones, shown above kicking his State Highway Patrol dog in September 2007, and fired shortly thereafter, should be reinstated.
And with back pay.
Jones was fired after another trooper turned over two 15-second video clips of him suspending his K-9 partner, Ricoh, from a railing and repeatedly kicking him to force him to release a chew toy.
In 2008, the State Personnel Commission found Jones’ punishment too harsh and ordered that he be reinstated.
Tuesday’s ruling is the latest in a series, all of which agreed the Highway Patrol did not have cause to terminate Jones’ employment. (Ricoh didn’t get a vote.) You can find the full text of the ruling here.
Patrol leaders said they initially planned to discipline Jones but decided to fire him when then-Gov. Mike Easley’s office intervened.
In its ruling, the court noted testimony from Jones’ former supervisor, Lt. Col. Cecil Lockley, who said, “They want him gone … the decision regarding Sgt. Jones’ career was predetermined, not by the patrol’s disciplinary process but by an outside entity.”
Lockley called Jones’ method of disciplining Ricoh “ugly,” but said it did not fall outside the realm of patrol-accepted training techniques.
The appeals court agreed with a lower court ruling that ”the training method used by Jones on Ricoh in this matter, while appearing excessive and extreme to the general public, is not unreasonably outside of or substantially different from several of the training techniques that are tested, trained and approved for use by the Patrol.”
It concluded, “Jones acted consistently with his training, and used compliance techniques on Ricoh similar to those used by all Patrol members who were canine handlers.”
We’d hope that the highway patrol has redefined the boundaries of its realm of training techniques – as it stated it would after the case came to public attention.
A rebuilding of the K-9 unit was promised, and an end to the kind of rough training tactics — swinging, suspending and kicking of patrol dogs — that the video depicts. New training procedures, they said, would specifically prohibit punching, kicking, beating and choking of dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
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