Officer suspended for refusing to shoot skunk

Officer suspended for refusing to shoot skunk

September 30th, 2015 by Associated Press in Local Regional News

Photo of a skunk used under the Creative Commons license.

Photo of a skunk used under the Creative...

Photo by Rikki's Refuge on Flickr

A police officer in East Tennessee has spent three days at home for refusing to shoot a skunk that had bitten a child.

The Kingsport Times-News reported that Mount Carmel police Officer David Dean violated departmental policy on July 27 when he gave his service weapon to Fire Chief Ryan Christian, who killed the skunk so that it could be tested for rabies.

Dean, Christian and animal control officer Eddie Seabolt responded to a report of a 6-year-old child who had been bitten by the skunk. Seabolt says it was Dean's responsibility to kill the skunk. Mount Carmel prohibits its animal control officers from euthanizing animals. The skunk wasn't rabid.

Following an investigation, police Chief Jeff Jackson sent a letter earlier this month notifying Dean of his suspension.