"Two days later I saw Tony's poster and recognized the picture of the cat. I rang him to tell him that the police had killed his cat. I was gobsmacked that they hadn't already informed him."
-- Ali Nisar
Contrary to what an awful lot of addlebrained, unthinking individuals choose to believe with all their hearts, it is extremely rare for a cat to be accidentally killed by a motorist. Au contraire,
just about all of those that end up as roadkill are the victims of malice aforethought.
That is because cats are not only terrified of loud noises and fast-moving objects but they additionally are fleet-footed. It therefore is not any surprise that the bodies of those that have been run down are usually found on either the sides or edges of streets and roads.
Their outstretched legs are yet still another inescapable indication that they were running at full speed for the safety of the other side, which often was only inches away, when they were deliberately cut down in mid-stride. It furthermore is spurious for detractors to argue that they were in the middle of the road when struck and thus thrown to the side upon impact because cats that have had their necks broken and heads smashed in die instantaneously on the spot where they were hit.
In addition to all of that, motorists who deliberately kill cats never slow down, brake, sound their horns, or even bother to so much as veer around them; rather, they shower down on the accelerator and even change lanes for the opportunity in order to mow them down. Most telling of all, none of the these serial hit-and-run artists ever stop unless it is to admire the fruits of their handiwork.
Not only have none of these cat-murdering devils ever been arrested and thus forced to answer for their heinous crimes in a court of law but it is almost unheard of for anyone to so much as question their right to kill cats and other animals with impunity. Like the beating to death of homeless men, using an automobile in order to kill a cat constitutes the perfect crime.
Perhaps even more unjust than all of that is the societal drumbeat which dishonestly blames both the victims and their caretakers for their deaths. As is the case with just about everything else in human affairs, first comes the crime followed closely at heel by an outrageous pack of lies concocted in order to obfuscate, justify and, finally, to dismiss it.
The killing of cats with automobiles has reached such epidemic proportions that it now rivals both cricket and baseball in popularity. Moreover, such patently immoral and criminal behavior is not only indulged in by private citizens but the police as well.
That was the harsh and shocking reality that recently was brought home to a family of four from the Normanton section of Derby after a pair of officers from the Derbyshire Police ran down and killed their beloved three-year-old ginger-colored cat, Harry. The timeline of events has not been spelled out in press reports but it nonetheless is believed that Harry disappeared from the house on Palmerston Street that he shared with forty-two-year-old restaurateur Tony Hunt, his thirty-year-old common law wife Zoe Price, and their two children, five-year-old Lily and one-year-old Thomas, sometime on Sunday, April 19th.
Unable to locate either hide or hair of him, Hunt spent the following two days looking high and low for him without so much as an inkling of success. Fortunately, he had had the bon sens
to plaster his neighborhood with "Lost Cat" posters and that belatedly did the trick although the outcome that they produced was the absolute last thing in the world that he ever wanted.
"Two days later I saw Tony's poster and recognized the picture of the cat," his sixteen-year-old conscientious neighbor Ali Nisar told the Daily Mail
on April 26th. (See "Family Furious after Pet Cat Harry Was Killed 'By a Police Car Before Officers Disposed of the Body Without Telling Them'.")
"I rang him to tell him that the police had killed his cat. I was gobsmacked that they hadn't already informed him."
Nisar subsequently revealed that the police officers were speeding with their blue emergency lights flashing when they ran down and killed Harry at the intersection of Clarence and Livingstone roads. "The cat was in the middle of the road but the car went straight over it," Hunt, relying upon Nisar's eyewitness account of events, related to the Daily Mail
. "They didn't seem to brake, but I don't know how they could not have seen it."
The police offices did stop, however, but it was neither to procure emergency veterinary treatment for Harry nor to locate and inform his guardian about what had occurred. Instead, one of the officers wasted precious time by putting the bite on an unidentified local resident for a black trash bag into which Harry was placed before being nonchalantly tossed into the boot of the cruiser. They then fled the scene of the crime like a pair of scalded hounds although it has not been revealed if they were still in the same haste as before and with their disco lights flashing.
Much more importantly, it has not been disclosed either if Harry was still alive at that point or even the extent of his injuries. It therefore is entirely conceivable that his life could have been saved if only the officers had acted differently.
This case bears a sickening and disturbing resemblance to the events that unfolded on November 11, 2011 on Settlers Lane in Harrisonburg, Virginia. On that god-awful occasion a cat of undisclosed pedigree, sex, and name was run down and severely injured by a hit-and-run motorist.
Its desperate plight was discovered by area resident Wayne Meadows who contacted the Harrisonburg Police Department which in turn dispatched twenty-five-year-old officer Jonathan N. Snoddy to the scene. Instead of procuring veterinary help for it, which was only thirty minutes away, he proceeded to bash out its brains against Meadows' porch as well as to play a sadistic game of rat-a-tat-tat against its head with his night stick.
Snoddy was belatedly indicted on animal cruelty charges and stood in the dock twice but ultimately was exonerated. Needless to say, the authorities never even bothered to so much as look for the motorist. (See Cat Defender posts of March 22, 2012, April 26, 2012, and August 23, 2012 entitled, respectively, "In Another Outrageous Miscarriage of Justice, Rogue Cop Jonathan N. Snoddy Is Let Off with a $50 Fine for Savagely Bludgeoning to Death an Injured Cat," "Virginia's Disreputable Legal and Political Establishment Is All Set to Acquit Jonathan N. Snoddy at His Retrial for Brutally Beating to Death an Injured Cat," and "Cat-Killing Cop Jonathan N. Snoddy Struts Out of Court as Free as a Bird Thanks to a Carefully Choreographed Charade Concocted by Virginia's Despicable and Dishonest Legal System.")
Acting upon what Nisar had confided to him, Hunt telephoned the Derbyshire Police but if he was expecting either compassion or an apology he was barking up the wrong tree. "I called 101 straightaway and eventually spoke to a desk sergeant who confirmed Harry had been hit and said he had been disposed of," he told the Daily Mail
. "There was no compassion whatsoever."
Instead of instigating a civil lawsuit against the police for not only killing Harry but for stealing and disposing of his remains as well, Hunt appears to be content with venting his spleen. "He just died without any dignity at all and I am appalled by the attitude of the officers concerned," he fumed to the Derby Telegraph
on April 25th. (See "'Police Car Killed Our Cat and Officers Just Dumped His Body in a Bag'.")
"I want them to give my daughter an apology. That's the least they can do."
Although the police's Professional Standards Department did open an internal investigation into the matter, it has not been publicly revealed either what conclusions it reached or if Hunt ever received an apology. Based upon the force's initial reaction to Harry's killing, however, it seems unlikely that Hunt and his family have received so much as an iota of satisfaction on either count.
"We can confirm that we are investigating a complaint about two officers, who were in a police car that allegedly collided with a cat, and the officers' subsequent actions. The investigation is at an early stage. We have spoken to Mr. Hunt and we will be speaking to him again next week," an unidentified spokesman for the police told the Derby Telegraph
. "We're in the process of trying to identify the officers who are allegedly involved to get their account of what happened. We're aware of how distressed the family is and we're eager to get the matter resolved as soon as possible."
Whenever police misconduct is uncovered it is always the same auld lang syne
whether the location is Harrisonburg, Derby, or elsewhere. First of all, internal investigations rarely if ever lead to lawbreaking officers being so much as disciplined let alone either fired or indicted.
Plus, the findings of these inquiries almost always remain private. Although it may not be visible to the naked eye, the blue wall of silence is every bit as real as the Great Wall of China.
Secondly, all police officers are notorious liars. For example, in this particular instance the Derbyshire Police lied when their spokesman claimed not to know the identities of the officers who killed Harry.
The department most assuredly knew which officers were on duty that day and the general vicinity in which they were stationed. It also would be highly unusual in this day and age if all of their cruisers were not equipped with both tracking devices and monitors that record their speed, location, and other pertinent data.
It therefore seems perfectly obvious that the police could have cleared up this matter almost immediately if they ran anything even remotely approaching an honest and aboveboard constabulary. Above all, the offending offices should have been promptly identified and forced to answer for their actions in at least civil proceedings as well as in the court of public opinion.
It also never has been explained what emergency they were responding to in such haste. It likewise is peculiar that they so quickly forget all about the supposed emergency in order to stop and collect Harry's body.
Although there cannot be any doubt that they were in a hurry to get somewhere, they could have been engaged in private as opposed to police business. For instance, they could have been either joyriding or attempting to see how much speed they could get out of their cruiser.
They also could have been on a food run in that it is not uncommon for cops as well as ambulance drivers and firemen to run down and kill not only cats but pedestrians all for the sake of a bowl of chop suey. Many cops even travel outside of their jurisdictions in order to satisfy their palates.
Since one of the officers involved was a WPC, it is conceivable they they were racing lickety-split to some seedy motel for a bit of good old-fashioned slap and tickle. It is doubtful that they were on their way to church, especially in such a hellfire hurry. After all, the salvation of the soul can wait for another day but it is an entirely different matter with those desires that burn red-hot in the loins.
Regardless of whatever the officers were up to there is no mistaking the readily discernible pattern of lawlessness exhibited by both them and their commanders. First of all, if the officers were not responding to a legitimate emergency they are guilty of both speeding and reckless driving. They also could be charged with vehicular homicide for killing Harry but since English society, to its eternal discredit, cares so little about the sanctity of feline life that is not about to happen in a million years.
Secondly, they are guilty of not only destroying evidence and orchestrating a cover-up but also of stealing and liquidating private property. Thirdly, the brass is as guilty as sin of deliberately lying to the public, obfuscating the truth, and stonewalling.
"Harry was a huge part of our lives and now a big chunk has been taken out of it (sic),
" Hunt moaned to the Derby Telegraph
. Whereas there is not any reason to question his fidelity, his conduct throughout this tragedy nevertheless leaves quite a bit to be desired.
|Piper Recuperating at Home|
Most egregious of all was his abject failure to protect Harry from the machinations of motorists. Only a minute percentage of those cats that are killed by hit-and-run motorists ever make the news but even those that do is more than sufficient to paint a rather grim picture of the way that things stand. (See Cat Defender posts of November 21, 2012, January 30, 2010, and August 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Officials at Plymouth College of Art Should Be Charged with Gross Negligence and Animal Cruelty in the Tragic Death of the School's Longtime Resident Feline, PCAT," "Casper Is Run Down and Killed by a Hit-and-Run Taxi Driver While Crossing the Street in Order to Get to the Bus Stop," and "Brave Little Fred the Undercover Cat Has His Short, Tragic Life Snuffed Out by a Hit-and-Run Driver in Queens.")
Even those cats fortunate enough to somehow survive these types of assaults often face months of recuperation and even then end up maimed for life. (See Cat Defender posts of November 10, 2014, May 2, 2012, January 5, 2011, April 29, 2010, September 12, 2009, August 20, 2009, and March 5, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Freya, the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Resident Feline, Cheats Death Once Again When She Survives Being Run Down and Injured by a Motorist but Her Good Luck Cannot Last for Much Longer," "Pregnant, Abandoned, and Then Deliberately Almost Killed by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Sugar Crawls Back to Her Subterranean Abode in Order to Feed Her Kittens," "Gunned Down by an Assassin and Then Mowed Down by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Big Bob Loses a Leg but Survives and Now Is Looking for a Home," "Long Suffering River Finally Finds a Home after Having Been Run Over by a Motorist and Nearly Drowned," "Luzie Sustains a Broken Hip and a Bloody Mouth Before She Is Successfully Rescued from the Busy Elbtunnel," "Combine Operator Severs Howard's Front Paws and Leaves Him in a Ditch to Die but He Is Saved at the Last Minute by a Pair of Compassionate Lads," and "Run Down by a Motorist and Frozen to the Ice by His Own Blood, Cat Named Roo is Saved by a Caring Woman.")
Without knowing just how busy the streets in Normanton are, it is difficult to speculate if Harry should have been allowed to venture beyond the safety of Hunt's yard. Perhaps he simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the police officers in question chose to indulge themselves in their criminal conduct. Regardless of conditions in the neighborhood, it is Hunt who is going to have to live with Harry's death and only he known if he did all that was within his power in order to safeguard his fragile existence.
It is beyond question, however, that Hunt erred grievously by relying upon an implanted microchip as opposed to equipping Harry with a more conventional collar. "He was not wearing a collar because his old one had broken just the day before and we were in the process of getting a new one," he disclosed to the Derby Telegraph
. "But Harry was microchipped so it would not have been difficult for them to have found out who the owner was."
First of all, neither a microchip, collar, nor a tattoo offer any cat the least bit of protection against the machinations of motorists and other ailurophobes and it is utter folly for anyone to think otherwise. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled " Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")
Secondly, private citizens normally do not have access to the scanners that are required in order to decipher microchips and it is almost unheard of for rescue groups and shelters, which have them, to scan dead cats for the purpose of returning their remains to their owners. Furthermore, it is utterly laughable for anyone to believe that a cop who has just killed a cat is about to incriminate either himself or herself by scanning it for the purpose of returning its body to its rightful owner.
In the case of a cat outfitted with a collar there is always the possibility that a concerned citizen will utilize the information contained on it in order to return its body to its owner. That is not very likely, however, unless the individual just happens to be acquainted with the aggrieved caretaker.
There also seems to be a certain amount of ambiguity in Hunt's mind as to just what he would have done with Harry's remains even if they had been returned to him. "If they (the police) had just placed him at the side of the road I am sure we would have found him and been able to have him cremated," he declared to the Derby Telegraph
When he first spoke on the telephone to the Derbyshire Police, however, he neglected to express any desire whatsoever to have Harry's remains returned to him. "He (the desk sergeant) didn't go into details as to how Harry had been disposed of and I didn't want to know, to be honest," he confessed to the Daily Mail
. "For all I know, they could have tossed him straight in the bin."
Although opinions vary widely on this sensitive subject, it nevertheless is believed that anyone who genuinely loved a cat not only would want its remains returned so that they could be properly buried in a grave with a tombstone on top. Besides, burning a cat's corpse to smithereens is not necessarily a moral upgrade over whatever the cops ultimately did with Harry's remains.
Hunt additionally is guilty of taking way too much for granted when he declares that he is confident that he would have discovered Harry's corpse if the police had left it untouched at the side of the road. That is because garbagemen and private citizens routinely collect dead cats and toss their corpses into the trash without so much as a second thought as to the feelings of their grieving owners.
Wild animals also drag them off to parts unknown for later consumption and on top of all of that they decompose extremely rapidly during hot weather. Generally speaking, unless a cat is cut down during a deep freeze its remains do not last for very long.
Finally, since Harry was not wearing a collar there is always the remote possibility that Hunt would have been incapable of even accurately identifying his remains. Cats of the same size, color, and length of fur coupled with similar facial features are easily confounded, especially if their heads and faces have been caved in by a motorist.
For instance in the spring of 2013, forty-eight-year-old Karen Jones of Mardol Road in Ashford, Kent, scooped up from the street the lifeless body of what she believed to be her beloved two-year-old cat, Norman. Following an hourlong memorial service the next day, she interred his remains in her garden and placed a black porcelain cat on top as a grave marker.
Imagine then her shock the following morning when Norman turned up for breakfast. "At first I thought he had been resurrected from the dead but he didn't know what all the fuss was about," she later revealed. "Then I realized we must have had the wrong cat."
Nothing is ever either simple or easy when it comes to cats and that in turn makes it extremely risky to take anything for granted. (See Cat Defender post of June 12, 2013 entitled "Pronounced Dead, Eulogized, and Then Relegated to the Underworld, Norman Astounds His Guardian by Turning Up Hungry and Grumpy for Breakfast the Very Next Morning.")
|Pompey II, Luis Ramos, Limerick, and Laurene Bove|
The cruel set of circumstances that befell Harry and his guardian also make it clear that locating a dead cat is every bit as daunting a task as reclaiming a live one. "If it hadn't been for my neighbor witnessing what happened, we'd still be searching for him now," Hunt declared to the Daily Mail
Although there is some truth in that assumption, it also is possible that if Nisar had not witnessed what the cops had done they very well in all likelihood would have kept on going without stopping to steal Harry's body. That is because no motorist, whether he be either a cop or a civilian, ever pulls over in order to collect the body of a cat that he has killed unless he has an especially good reason for doing so.
Lastly, Hunt intentionally lied to Lily when he told her that Harry had died and gone to heaven. He additionally failed to inform her that it was precisely the police who had killed her beloved companion.
At the end of the day there really is not any point of lying to children. Sooner or later they are going to learn for themselves just how mean, immoral, and deadly most people are and that dire assessment of the human condition most definitely includes the police.
It does not count for very much in a world where small groups, usually organized along ethnic lines, with money and guns to burn lord it all over creation but there nevertheless is a certain amount of power to be gained through the accumulation of wisdom. "Remember that now you can have confidence in yourself always," Hercule Poirot counseled Norma Restarick in Dame Agatha's 1966 novel, The Third Girl
. "To have known, at close quarters, what absolute evil means is to be armoured against what life can do to you."
Harry's death at the hands of the Derbyshire Police is the first such known incident to have occurred in England in recent memory. In the United States, for example, it is quite another story altogether.
Specifically, cops routinely not only run down and kill cats with impunity but quite often execute them on the street with their revolvers and then toss their ensanguinated bodies bodies into the nearest trash can. That is precisely what they have done to Elmo, Tobey, Haze, and Larry in recent memory. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 16, 2009, and September 22, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian Elmo," "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey," and "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop," plus the Norfolk Daily News, February 8, 2014, "Bloomfield Officer Disciplined for Killing Cat.")
Whenever a cat, such as Clark, walks away from one of their murderous assaults with his life it is nothing short of a miracle. (See Cat Defender post of September 27, 2014 entitled "Falsely Branded as Being Rabid by a Cat-Hater, an Animal Control Officer, and the Gorham Police Department, Clark Is Hounded Down and Blasted with a Shotgun.")
Considering the large number of cats that they either kill or maim in their official capacity as police officers, it is not the least bit surprising that they do likewise at their leisure. (See Cat Defender post of July 8, 2010 entitled "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back" plus the Daily Mail, May 24, 2013, "Off-Duty Texas Police Officer Arrested after Shooting Neighbor's Cat with Arrow" and the Houston Press, June 6, 2013, "Lance DeLeon: Cop Fired after Shooting Neighbor's Cat with Arrow.")
Some forces, such as the Alaskan State Police, are so antagonistic toward cats that they go to gargantuan lengths in order to deter their owners from securing life-saving veterinary treatment for for them. (See Cat Defender post of February 15, 2014 entitled "Indefatigable Young Alaskan Woman Overcomes a Lack of Money, Jailing by the Police, and a Series of Avalanches in Order to Save Ninja's Life.")
Even on those rare occasions when American police officers can be prevailed upon to come to the aid of cats and kittens in extremis
it is almost always for reasons totally unrelated to their safety and well-being. For instance, when officers Mark Hauenstein and Robert Barrett of the Columbus Division of Police interceded in order to save the life of a four-month-old gray and black kitten subsequently named J.R. that had been left stranded on the median of Ohio State Road 315 near Henderson Road on April 1st it was only due to concerns that his presence might precipitate an accident.
"If an animal ends up on a freeway, it's never a good thing, and it doesn't end well," Barrett later told The Columbus Dispatch
on April 7th. (See "Cops Knew They Had to Help Kitten on Route 315.")
"Some good-hearted Samaritans could have put themselves at risk trying to rescue it."
While it is undeniable that many individuals have been injured while rescuing cats and other animals left stranded in traffic, that is neither their fault nor that of the cats; rather, the blame lies squarely upon the shoulders of the police for failing to rigorously maintain both order and safety on all public thoroughfares. (See Cat Defender post of August 10, 2009 entitled "Georgia Woman Is Struck and Nearly Killed by a Motorist while Attempting to Rescue Kittens Dumped in the Middle of a Busy Road.")
J.R. was treated afterwards at Ohio State University's veterinary hospital for unspecified head injuries and a severe case of road rash before being fobbed off onto the Capital Area Humane Society in Hilliard, twenty-two kilometers outside of Columbus. Although he was wearing a collar, no one immediately came forward to reclaim him.
Back on May 3rd, Newport Beach police officer Dallas Lopez was credited with saving the life of an eleven-year-old orange cat named Piper from the jaws of ravenous coyote. All he did, however, was to flash his Christmas lights which startled the predator into dropping its prey and hightailing it elsewhere.
In all probability, Lopez was only indulging in crass voyeurism and saving Piper's life was the last thing on his mind. Nevertheless, he and fellow officer Travis Cooks are to be commended for transporting Piper to the Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital in Newport Beach.
He later was treated for a broken jaw, several fractured ribs, a punctured abdominal cavity, and internal bleeding at the AAA Animal Hospital in Huntington Beach. At last word he had been reunited with owner Kelsey Whitmer and was expected to live despite his massive injuries. (See KCAL-TV of Los Angeles, May 6, 20155, "Cat Escapes Death a Second Time When Police Officer Saves Him from Coyote.")
Although in the aftermath of her cat's close encounter with death Whitmer was quick to profess her abiding love for him to the high heavens, her irresponsible guardianship of him tells an entirely different story. Mainly, since coyotes are known to routinely roam through many communities in southern California she should be publicly dipped in hot oil for allowing Piper to stay out all night by his lonesome under such perilous conditions.
For example on the evening of November 15, 2007, a ten-year-old black cat named Cosmo was spared a sure and certain death in Thousand Oaks, one-hundred-thirty-two kilometers to the north of Newport Beach, when Jennifer Foster intervened in order to save him from the jaws of another coyote.
Even as things eventually turned out, he sustained puncture wounds to both his neck and lungs and his veterinary bill cost his owners, Jackie York and Bob Gerace, $5,000. (See Cat Defender post of December 4, 2007 entitled "Grieving Widow Risks Her Life in Order to Save Cosmo from the Jaws of a Hungry Coyote in Thousand Oaks.")
Not all cops hate cats but at the same time they do almost nothing in order to protect the lives of even those that they care for, let alone to enforce the animal cruelty statutes. (See Cat Defender posts of March 18, 2009 and May 29, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Eco, Who for Years Was a Mainstay at a Small Massachusetts Police Department, Is Run Down and Killed by a Motorist" and "Corporal Cuffs, Beloved Station House Mascot, Is Abducted Right Under Cops' Noses.")
Just as the outrageous lies of many a cat-hater have led to the on-the-spot liquidations of innumerable cats, any dog that so much as barks at a cop is placing its life in mortal danger. (See Cat Defender posts of July 18, 2012 and September 7, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Bloodthirsty and Lawless Harrisonburg Police Follow Up Their Bludgeoning to Death of an Injured Cat by Gunning Down a Collie Named Sadie" and "Peripatetic Helvin Rides to the Rescue of Harrisonburg Police Sergeant Russell Metcalf and in Doing So Puts the Judicial Stamp of Approval on His Gunning Down of Sadie," plus the Daily News Record of Harrisonburg, January 10, 2013, "Ex-City Officer Fined.")
All of that is in addition to the large number of police dogs that die in either the line of duty or as the result of cancers contracted while being deployed as cadaver dogs at Ground Zero and elsewhere. Others fall victim to the ravages of secondhand smoke as the result of being irresponsibly cooped up all day inside squad cars with officers who insist upon polluting the very air that they have no choice but to breathe.
In addition to New York City's simply abhorrent naked exploitation and abuse of carriage horses, it also exposes the trusty steeds who serve in its antiquated mounted patrols to all sorts of dangers. For example on April 22nd, a black horse named Pompey II ridden by Luis Ramos was bitten in the chest and on the leg by a pit bull in the East New York section of Brooklyn.
Ramos' fellow officer, Laurene Bove, galloped to the scene aboard Limerick and was able to chase the dog into a nearby yard. Pompey II later was treated for cuts and punctures and was expected to make a full recovery. (See the print edition of the New York Daily News, April 23, 2015, "Horse Survives the 'Pits'.")
The law enforcement community's exploitation of both dogs and horses exposes it as not only still living in the Dark Ages but to be lazy and cowardly as well. That is because it is precisely man who has created and knowingly continues to perpetuate the myriad of ills that plague modern societies and as such it is his responsibility, not that of the animal kingdom, to remedy them.
Not all is lost however in that some jurisdictions, such as Milford, Connecticut, and the remote Japanese island of Iriomote, are fighting back by erecting Cat Crossing signs. (See Cat Defender posts of January 26, 2007 and November 27, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Cat Activists Succeed in Getting Connecticut Town to Erect a Cat Crossing Sign" and "After Surviving on Its Own for at Least Two Million Years, Rare Japanese Wildcat Faces Its Toughest Battle Yet.")
Several residential communities in both Angleterre
and Deutschland have successfully agitated for reduced speed limits as a way of better protecting their cats and other animals. Cats nevertheless remain second-class citizens under the former's Road Traffic Act of 1988 which exempts them, but not dogs, sheep, cows, and horses, from the list of animals that motorists are required to report to the authorities after striking.
Underpasses also have been constructed in California and elsewhere in order to protect wildlife from the evil designs of motorists. Roadside memorials erected by aggrieved cat owners are, unfortunately, still illegal in certain locales. (See Cat Defender post of October 9, 2010 entitled "Feline Traffic Fatalities Are Unworthy of Commemoration According to a Möhnesee Bureaucrat Who Orders the Destruction of a Roadside Memorial to Jule.")
Although all of those measures are steps in the right direction, none of them go nearly far enough in order to make any real difference. The best and most humane solution would be to enact and stringently enforce laws that make it illegal for motorists to harm any animal. Since that quite obviously is not about to happen, one alternative would be to erect fences and walls around all busy thoroughfares so as to foreclose the possibility of animals gaining access to them.
It is pretty much an impossible task, however, to even begin to convince both the elites and the hoi polloi
that the lives of animals are worth protecting when it is strictly verboten,
at least in the United States, to even speak up on their behalves. That is what Leslie Anderson, a law clerk for Judge Travis Francis in New Brunswick, New Jersey, recently found out to her detriment when she dared to so much as express sympathy for the family of a deer struck down by twenty-four-year-old New Jersey State Trooper Anthony Raspa and his partner, twenty-nine-year-old Gene Hong, shortly before 1 a.m. on May 30th on I-195 in Upper Freehold Township in Monmouth County.
After striking the deer, the troopers' Ford Crown Victoria careened off the right-hand side of the road and crashed into a tree. Raspa later was pronounced dead at CentraState Hospital in Freehold while Hong was treated for lacerations and a neck injury at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton. (See The New York Times, May 30, 2015, "New Jersey State Trooper Killed after Patrol Car Hits Deer" and NJ.com, June 4, 2015, "Thousands Say Goodbye to State Trooper Anthony Raspa.")
"Not that sad, and certainly not tragic. (The) troopers were probably traveling at a dangerously high speed as per usual," Anderson wrote shortly thereafter on the Facebook page of News-12 of Edison. (See the Daily Mail, June 3, 2015, "'Not That Sad, and Certainly Not Tragic': New Jersey Law Clerk Suspended after Comments Made Following Trooper's Death Aged Twenty-Four in Car Crash.")
"Totally preventable. At least they didn't take any of the citizens they were sworn to serve and protect with them."
She was more than justified in making those comments in that New Jersey State troopers have been involved in not only several high-profile traffic fatalities but of even organizing drag races down the Garden State Parkway. In addition to all of that, their totally reprehensible and unlawful conduct has been augmented by that of local cops from both the Garden State and neighboring New York who have been responsible for numerous traffic mishaps where they have killed not only themselves but others as well after, quite often, boozing away the small hours in jiggle joints.
It was however the compassion that Anderson dared to express for the deer that doomed her. "Nonetheless, I agree that it is sad and heart-wrenching for the family members left to suffer the consequences of the trooper's recklessness, especially for the deer family who lost a mommy or daddy or baby deer," she added according to the account in the Daily Mail.
Since no good deed ever goes unpunished, especially in totally lawless and immoral America, the retribution came swift and furious. "My impression is that this person has a hatred for us and what we do," Chris Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, blathered to the Daily Mail
. "If she says they (the comments) were made in a private capacity on Facebook that doesn't cut it anymore, especially from someone entrusted to work for the law. This brings up ethical and conduct issues."
The bully then went on to declare that he would not be satisfied with anything less than Anderson's pretty blond scalp hanging from the rearview mirror of his official car. "I will follow this through because it's not enough," he added. "I won't let this happen on my watch."
The lynch mob formed by Burgos was quickly buttressed by the addition of Patrick Colligan, president of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, who dashed off an angry letter to Francis wherein he labeled Anderson's remarks as being "beyond reprehensible" and as a "shock to the moral conscience." (See the Cliffview Pilot, June 3, 2015, "New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association President Insists Law Clerk Be Held Accountable for 'Reprehensible' Comments about State Trooper's Death.")
He did not stop there, however, but went on to avail himself of the golden opportunity presented to him in order to rewrite the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in order to suit his own interests. He began his sortie into reducing the right to free speech to nothingness by, quite calculatingly, professing his steadfastness to "never waver in defending it."
No sooner had those lofty sentiments escaped from his pie hole than he did an abrupt about-face by declaring that the protections afforded by that amendment do not apply to governmental employees. "This was not an ordinary citizen with an absolute right to freedom of speech," he lectured Francis. "This is a well-educated graduate of law school that should have understood and respected the limitations of her position and the trust our citizens must have in the judiciary."
, if an individual works in government, no matter how corrupt and tyrannical it may be, she must not only keep her trap closed tighter than a virgin's crack but also go along with and cover up the crimes perpetrated by her colleagues. His comments also make it abundantly clear that the only value he sees in a college education is the all-too-common tendency of such institutionalized brainwashing to churn out morally-numb, unthinking apologists for the establishment.
Much more importantly, Colligan is either an inveterate liar, a complete moron, or likely both when it comes to his ludicrous interpretation of the First Amendment. That amendment clearly states that "Congress shall make no law...abridging freedom of speech" and since its ratification in 1791 the United States Supreme Court has extended its strictures to the states through their selective incorporation into the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Ergo,
its protections apply equally against New Jersey just as they do against the federal government in Washington.
Every bit as importantly, the amendment does not make, as Colligan claims, a distinction between the utterances of private and public employees. It accordingly is beyond dispute that Anderson's comments were constitutionally protected.
Old lamebrained and spineless Francis fell hook, line, and sinker for Colligan's outrageous lies however when he upgraded his earlier two-week suspension of Anderson and fired her outright. (See News-12, June 3, 2015, "Law Clerk Resigns Following Controversial Online Comments.")
In doing so he vividly demonstrated that as far as public employment in New Jersey is concerned anyone with so much as an ounce of honesty, integrity, compassion for animals, and half a mind of her own need not apply. Rather, the state's highly-paid sinecures
are reserved as the private fiefdoms of fops, sycophants, criminals and, above all, animal killers.
None of that in any way alters he fact that instead of losing her job and being pilloried by both the capitalist media and the public alike, Anderson richly deserves a medal for not only standing up for deer and other animals but also the right of pedestrians and private motorists to safely navigate the roads in New Jersey without the fear of being struck down and killed by speeding, drunken cops. Like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning before her, she is not only a very courageous individual but a hero as well.
Unfortunately, it is not going to be easy for her to resurrect her law career, especially in a state as notoriously corrupt and unforgiving as New Jersey. (See Cat Defender posts of September 22, 2008 and April 26, 2014 entitled, respectively, "New Jersey at Long Last Has at Least One Honest Public Servant and Her Name Is Caloo from Carlstadt" and "The Opportunistic Old Hacks Who Run the Show in New Jersey Are All Set to Unjustly Condemn Rocky to a Lifetime Behind Bars for, Basically, Daring to So Much as Breathe.")
The good news is that there is a whole other world waiting for someone like her with compassion, courage, and honesty outside of both the law and the Garden State. If she should choose to remain in the United States she needs to be always mindful, however, that even though Americans may profess to fervently believe in the rule of law, equality, democracy, morality, free speech, free press, and all the other correct and noble things that this world has to offer, deep down in their heart of hearts they abhor all of those ideals and, as she has just recently discovered, woe be it to anyone who dares to so much as even attempt to avail herself of any of those rights and privileges.
Just how ingrained and pervasive this loathing of all things true and just has become is nowhere better illustrated than in the petit fait
that, as far as it could be determined, neither a solitary free speech advocacy group nor an animal rights organization has so far been able to muster the prerequisite gumption in order to come to Anderson's defense. There used to be a time in this country when even those individuals and groups that vehemently disagreed with various viewpoints nevertheless could be counted upon to stand up for the First Amendment but those days, sadly, have gone the way of the horse and buggy.
"For the average American, freedom of speech is simply the freedom to repeat what everyone else is saying and no more," Gore Vidal once pointed out. It is even doubtful that most of them are any longer capable of differentiating between the self-serving hogwash that they are fed on a daily basis by the establishment and the truth.
Going after Anderson and her job also has excused the New Jersey State Police from explaining exactly what happened on I-195 on that fateful morning last month. First of all, they have yet to publicly disclose either the extent of Raspa's injuries or what precisely killed him. Although press reports claim that he was at the wheel, his mortal injuries coupled with Hong's rather minor scrapes and bruises would be more consistent with him having been in the passenger's seat.
Secondly, it has not been confirmed if the troopers were on official police business or merely horsing around at the time of the accident. Thirdly, it is not known either how fast they were traveling or if drugs and alcohol were involved.
Fourthly, it has not been revealed if Raspa either was texting or gassing on his mobile phone. It is not even known if he was wearing a seat belt which is mandatory under New Jersey state law.
Most glaring of all, no one has seen fit to comment upon just how rare it is for a private citizen, let alone a seasoned trooper, to be killed while running down a deer. If he were driving, Raspa had the protection of his vehicle, the steering wheel and, perhaps, his seat belt. His cruiser's braking system and the deer also would have cushioned the impact with the tree.
It accordingly is difficult to comprehend how that a sober and alert officer who was following the posted speed limit could have killed himself by hitting a deer. Those are just a few of the questions that concerned citizens should be demanding of the state police but that is not about to happen anymore than they are about to insist that they respect the laws of the road and operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner.
"We are naturally held to a higher standard and we both understand and respect the restrictions imposed on us," Colligan vacuously gassed to his buddy Francis in the letter cited supra
. His and Burgos' actions however point to the inescapable conclusion that what they and their fellow officers truly believe is that they are above not only the law and all morality but even public criticism as well.
Finally, the public demonization of Anderson and her outrageous firing by Francis are eclipsed only by the glaring omission of any concern voiced by either the capitalist media or the political establishment for the fate of the deer so callously attacked by Raspa. If it did not die on the spot, it likely has been crippled for life.
So long as such a perverted morality continues to hold sway, cats like Harry, the deer run down by Raspa, and all other animals stand considerably less than a snowball's chance in Hell of surviving. The only thing that seemingly matters anymore is that the likes of the Derbyshire Police, the New Jersey State Police, and private citizens alike be allowed to continue to get their cheap thrills by racing their souped-up jalopies down the streets and roads irrespective of how many animals and pedestrians that they kill and maim in the process.
Photos: Tony Hunt (Harry), Derby Telegraph (Hunt), KCAL-TV (Piper), New York City (Pompey II), New Jersey State Police (Raspa), and LinkedIn (Anderson).