|Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Officer|
In late April, a Maine man named Brandon Carpenter lost his dog Arzy to a senseless officer shooting while traveling through Sulphur, Louisiana. While officer Brian Thierbach was arresting Brandon Carpenter and a friend for trespassing in the Southwest Daily News parking lot, he shot Arzy (who was tied to a leash) and fought back a smile.
Thierbach lied and said the dog attacked him but an eyewitness was able to counter that claim, even noting the officer playing with the dog prior to shooting it to death. Brandon opted to remain in Sulphur, even looking to temporarily rent and work there until full justice was achieved.
Thierbach had been placed on paid administrative leave, pending a joint investigation by Sulphur Police and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office that was to be submitted to the District Attorney’s office. National attention and the overwhelming support Carpenter received may have pushed Thierbach into handing in his resignation before the investigation was final – which did thwart any disciplinary action from the department.
The resolution didn’t stop there, however. Last week, a grand jury handed down an indictment of one count of aggravated cruelty to an animal – a very serious charge that is a felony offense. A grand jury warrant was issued for his arrest. Judge Kent Savoie set Thierbach’s bond at $20,000. Former Sulphur officer Thierbach was expected to turn himself in – he was arrested on Friday afternoon.
Alyson Antoon, Carpenter’s attorney, was pleased with the jury’s decision and how seriously the District Attorney’s office took the incident. The attorney is considering a city lawsuit and the pursuit of a settlement.
Brandon Carpenter keeps going with his efforts to raise awareness of officer dog shootings. And this awareness might be necessary; as one Reddit user points out, officer-dog shootings seem to be an area-wide issue. Resident Laura Martin points out that this is the third unnecessary officer-dog shooting this year in Sulphur.
The growing problem of LEOs unnecessarily killing pet dogs and the people who rationalize it is deeply entrenched. One resignation and a jailing is what Carpenter described as a “step in the right direction.” One incident brought to national attention with rallying support for the injured party only begins to ring up the curtain on the core issue.
|Arzy Kensington. (Source: Brandon Carpenter/Huffington Post)|
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