Ex-Cop Caught Strangling Dog Won’t Face Criminal Charges
Warning: Graphic Footage
An ex-North Carolina cop who was caught on video choking a police dog won’t be charged for his actions.
Footage emerged earlier this month of former Salisbury police officer James Hampton mishandling a K-9. In the video, he lifts the dog up by the collar, over his shoulder, then slams the animal into the car and hits him.
Hampton resigned shortly after it became available to the public, faced with outrage all across the world for how he treated the four-year-old dog, named Zuul. However, it’s now been announced his actions won’t lead to criminal charges.
Warning: contains footage some may find upsetting:
The Rowan County District Attorney’s Office confirmed it won’t be bringing any charges against Hampton for his heinous treatment of Zuul, TMZ reports. While acknowledging the video itself shows a ‘bad act’, there wasn’t enough evidence to show a crime had been committed.
As part of its investigations, the office also spoke to others who worked with Hampton, who similarly said the dog wasn’t disciplined properly in this instance, but argued the officer hadn’t acted with any intention of hurting the dog or malice. Hampton also reportedly paid ‘thousands out of his own pocket’ for veterinary bills for earlier K-9s.
However, the footage doesn’t paint a positive picture for the other officers who witnessed Hampton’s actions with the dog, with one assuring him: ‘We’re good, no witnesses.’ At this point, a small laugh can also be heard. Soon after, they discuss whether or not their cameras are on. The identities of these officers haven’t been disclosed.
In a previous statement, the Salisbury Police Department said: ‘The Police Department’s review determined that Officer Hampton had acted in a manner entirely inconsistent with his K-9 training and had violated Police Department policy. As a result, he was recommended for termination.’
In response to the footage, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote in the Salisbury Post: ‘Dogs are not robots. They are emotional, thinking and feeling beings. Like us, they relish freedom, enjoy pleasure, avoid pain and are anxious to help and loyal to a fault. A dog who is yelled at — let alone hit — is demoralised and starts to distrust human interactions.’
She added: ‘Today, we know, or should know, that dogs like humans break down mentally if they are bullied. As they say, it’s not the dogs who are at fault — it’s whoever raised them… the least we can do is get to know them better and treat them with respect and gratitude.’
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