Letters to the Editor:

Cookeville would be a good place

 to start a police department, former Cookeville officer says

 

From:

"William Drossman" <wdrossman@cfl.rr.com>

To:

"Geoffrey Davidian" <geoff@MilwaukeePress.Net>

Date:

Tue, January 7, 2003 12:49 pm

Subject:

Re:


Geoff,

I really try to disconnect from Cookeville, but I worry about my friends who are still there so I read The Pit now and then. It appears that things have not changed much since I've left. As a matter of fact, I believe the "good ole boys" still take the attitude that they are untouchable and unaccountable for their actions. Cookeville would be a nice place to start a police department. The entire command staff, with the exception of one Captain and one Lieutenant, should be removed (I do not identify them for fear they would become Bob Terry's next targets). As a police veteran, it hurts to know the things that have happened there and apparently are still happening. Everyone in this profession knows that the integrity and professionalism of any police agency starts at the top. Unfortunately that message has never been received in Cookeville. Shame on the officers who repeatedly cover for their own continued incompetence and the political corruption which dictates the direction of the department (Honestly, though, most of them survive and get promoted by being "loyal" to Terry, White, Honeycutt and the rest of the stooges in power, including politicians and their political affiliates). Pity for those who strive to become professionals, but who fear for their livelihood, reputations and for the safety of their own family members to expose those who are unworthy. It is refreshing to read about the defeats of Abston and Coomer, though. The good people of Putnam County and Cookeville need to continue their efforts to elect representatives who are responsible, who make worthy appointments (city managers and police chiefs) and whose interests are not self-serving. I just don't know if that will happen in our lifetime. I miss my friends in Cookeville, but I do not miss working under the conditions of employment with the Cookeville Police Department. May God Bless You in your continued efforts to educate the residents of Putnam County and help them expose the corruption which infects the entire area.

Bill

  

_______________

 

Why did both Cookeville police officers turn off their cameras?

 

From:

"Bruce Walker" <walkerb@HEPC.WVNET.EDU>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:41 am

Subject:

Cameras


Reading the internal investigation regarding the Smoaks I find it interesting that both Cookeville officers turned off their on board cameras before the incident because of “overload” problems. I would suggest the town get better camera equipment if they are subject to “overloads” that allow officers to hide their actions. Without the THP tape there would have been no recording. Demand the cameras stay on at all times!

 

Bruce Ray Walker

General Counsel

West Virginia

Higher Education Policy Commission

Suite 700, 1018 Kanawha Blvd. East

Charleston, WV 25301

304-558-0695

walkerb@hepc.wvnet.edu

 

 

_______

From:

"K" <svtb15@hotmail.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>,, <vhansen@wkrn.com>,, <blea@wkrn.com>,, <merrill@wkrn.com>,, <bmueller@wkrn.com>,, <nboman@putnamco.org>,, <sen.charlotte.burks@legislature.state.tn.us>,, <rep.jere.hargrove@legislature.state.tn.us>,, <rep.charles.curtiss@legislature.state.tn.us>,, <bart.gordon@Mail.house.gov>,, <dsundquist@mail.state.tn.us>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 11:32 am

Subject:

Response from town official to me


This is the apathetic answer that I got from the Cookeville, TN town official

about the dog shooting. He doesn't care at all about not only the killing of

the dog but the family that was attacked. As a citizen, no wonder our

country is such a dilemma. Just let the so called little things build up

until we become desensitized.

It is a constant dumbing down of all that should be correct.

It seems that what is right is now wrong, and what was once wrong is now

right. I am a voter. I can and will make a difference for the good and

Sovereignty of our once great country!

 

Who is Rust to decide what social [issue] is more important. I don't think that there is a more important social ill than the American people being under attack by those who are pledged to protect and serve and uphold our constitution. The last that I checked, we are still in the USA. Thank you for your keen interest and understanding on the implications of this matter.

----- Original Message -----

From: "John Rust" <John.Rust@state.tn.us>

To: <svtb15@hotmail.com>

Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 11:05 AM

Subject: Re: Cookeville , TN Puppy Slaughtering Capitol of the World

 

 

I hope that you are as revolted about the other more important social ills

of our society as you are the unfortunate killing of a dog.

 

>>> "K" <svtb15@hotmail.com> 01/10/03 10:32 AM >>>

I am revolted by the news that an over fanatical trigger happy cop shot and

killed a family dog.

 

I live in Dallas, TX and heard the distressing news today.

 

It is crucial that the cop be psycho analyzed and put at a desk job.

He is apparently not fit to be in a high pressure situation even though he

is the one that created the high pressure.

 

 I would like to ponder what his likes and dislikes of animals are.

 

Does he have a past record of abuse of animals or humans.

 

The police department of Cookeville, TN should be sued for a few million

dollars just to make it known that there are consequences for a cruel and

irrational behavior.

 

The vice mayor offered sympathy to the family it says in the news. That

family deserves much more than sympathy for loosing one of their family.

 

That is a real nice way to get your town in the news.

 

Kirk

 

Your new town Slogan:

 

Cookeville , TN  Puppy Slaughtering Capitol of the World

 _______________ 

From:

Nunya Huh <cookevillisnotallrednecks@yahoo.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:40 pm

Subject:

Who shot Lassie!


Hello great job,

 How ever check out the herald-citizen story about a yr. and a half ago about the other dog shooting in Cookeville by the same police officer. It was under the same circumstances the dog was loose in the families own yard and he got a complaint from a neighbor and he went in shoot it in its own yard. The shame is it looks like Lassie getting out of the car! Also the THP officer (Jerry Andrews) in charge has had trouble controlling his officers before. I have an important question, how would you control a real emergency situation (such as a terrorist attack) if you can’t Handel a dog that can at the worst bite your ankles. I’m afraid because who's gonna protect our children? Not Our Quick at the draw police officers they might shoot our children! I think the Soaks needs to donate to the police department to get some real cops not Royal Idiots! One more thing Mr. Hall needs to become the poster child for Animal rights...HAHA...

P.s. Cookeville how much is our taxes gonna go up because of our Stupid cops!

Your website is great keep up the good work,

An Angry Cookevillian


From:

"Patricia Densmore" <pbd7@msn.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:32 pm

Subject:

Police Brutality


This might not be the correct place to send this mail but I need to say a few things about the news footage shown this evening on the national news concerning the Cookeville Police stopping a family in a car, taking all of the members of the family out of the car to handcuff them and when the family dog jumped out of the car because the officers left the car doors open one of the officers shot the poor dog in the head. The dog wasn't even trying to attack the officers and this malicious act is totally unacceptable.  We try to teach our children that police officers are their friends and are there to help them.  Definitely not in this case.  The family or their dog didn't have a chance to explain.  It so happens that the man in the family car had left his wallet on top of the car and that is the reason for the money flying around.  The Cookeville Police Department should be ashamed to call themselves protectors of the public's rights.  You are a bunch of gangsters.

_______________________________

From:

Jerry Green <jag_kc4ggu@juno.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:32 pm

Subject:

puppy killer


Looks like the Cookeville PD brought down their website. Do you think the

cops got a few hate e-mails.

 

 

That cop is guilty of murdering a puppy and the department is guilty of

aiding and abetting a killer. Anybody who kills a dog as that dog is

approaching you wagging its tail is a killer of life.......It is like

that cop approaching me with his hand out getting ready to shake hands and

I shoot him.

 

It is a shame we have low life taking money from the taxpayer.

 

Jerry

 

ps    remind me to drive a tank through their watch area

_____________________

From:

hillbilly4 <hillbilly4@mail1.hartcom.net>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:02 pm

Subject:

they shoot friendly dogs don’t they??


would a tourism boycott be too harsh if swift and sure justice is not

meted out in Cookeville?...not just boycotts in Cookeville, but lets

start in Nashville and Gatlinburg...keep us up to date and

informed...were being blocked out by the Gestapo in Cookeville..

 

 

_____________________

From:

"Syd Majors" <atlantaagent@hotmail.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 5:26 pm

Subject:

Just in case Cookeville blocked mine enclosing a copy.


Chief Robert E. Terry

 

I just read about how your officer treats visitors to Tennessee. You can

rest assured that you will never see me or my family in the State of

Tennessee.

 

I picked up the story on DrudgeReport.com and with 4,227,397 visits to the

website just yesterday I'm sure you will be hearing from many Americans who

are as disgusted as I am with people in your department who are sworn to

protect and to serve.

 

Just take a look at the mission statement from your website.

 

"To provide the citizens and visitors of Cookeville with professional police

services at a level of quality that will instill high public confidence and

will maintain community trust and support."

 

Saying you are sorry is not enough.

 

Syd Majors

Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

CC Governor, Don Sundquist, Officer Eric Hall

 

_________________________________________________________________

From:

MMitch4330@aol.com

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 7:16 pm

Subject:

Cookeville Police


Dear Geoff,

No one will debate the fact that the actions of the CPD and the THP were wrong...beginning with the poor communication between dispatchers and ending with the shooting of the family pet.  I'm sure we all hope that the facts will prevail.

I don't think that we should let this incident blind us to the climate of "back-slapping inefficiency" that has characterized Cookeville government for some time.  Your publication has done well in bringing these issues to light, and we don't need to rehash them here.

I hope that the citizens will be prodded into action and seek answers for this and the other issues you have shown us.

A sad period for the people of Cookeville...

If you have not done so, I encourage you and your readers to check out Mr. Sam Venable's column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel on the felony stop.  It is available on the KNS website (www.knoxnews.com).

Regards,
Mark

_______________________

From:

"Greg and Maureen Holmes" <mag97@insightbb.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 5:06 pm

Subject:

Dog Murderers


I was thoroughly appalled by the murder of an innocent  family's pet. How can anyone be afraid of a dog that is bounding around and wagging his tail? Only a simple minded brain dead idiot would be afraid of this dog.

 

The video also clearly shows the danger the Smoak family was in from the trigger happy Gestapo. The guns were quickly turned on the family and they were probably quite lucky the idiots didn't fire on them.

 

What is this world coming to when it takes 5 huge rifle toting police officers to stop an innocent family all based on a stupid 911 call? How do you go from money flying out of a car to a felony? What a load of garbage.

 

The next time I'm stopped for speeding, will I have to face a bazooka? This police state has to stop.

 

Maureen Holmes

Louisville, Kentucky

____________________________________

From:

"Daniel W. Van Riper" <dwvr@atecone.net>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 4:21 pm

Subject:

Act of Terrorism


The unprovoked attack on the Smoaks family was nothing more or less than

an act of terrorism.  Under provisions of the so-called "USA Patriot

Act", these terrorists should be immediately brought before a military

tribunal and punished for endangering the lives and security of American

Citizens.

 

We all know what will happen instead.  The terrorists will be carefully

protected by the Al-Qaida like network of old boys in power, and

eventually be rewarded for their behavior.  They will commit more acts

of terrorism, and shoot more pets for fun.

 

Since justice will not be served, I will pass my own sentence:  If I

ever have the misfortune of passing through Cookeville, TN, I will not

spend a single penny of my own money, but I will make a special point of

leaving my urine.  I call upon like-minded Americans everywhere to do

the same.

 

This sentence will be voided ONLY if the citizens of Cookeville take

pride in their American Citizenship and overthrow the terrorist regime

governing them, preferably peacefully.  It has happened elsewhere in

America, it could happen in Cookeville.

 

Daniel W. Van Riper

dwvr@atecone.net

_____________________

 

 

From:

Diane Emmerich <merlin01@ameritech.net>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:50 pm

Subject:

Shooting of dog


Eric Hall...what a FUCKING IDIOT! To do the same to him as he did to

that dog would be the waste of a good bullet...he doesn't have any

fucking brains! I hope the Cookeville Police Dept gets sued  out of

existence.

Diane Emmerich, Milwaukee WI.

________________________________

 

From:

Sacgeek <sacgeek@attbi.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 10:42 pm

Subject:

 


I see your town received some additional favorable publicity this week.

Shame on your gun happy cops, especially the goon that shot the dog.

Somehow the odds in that weren't very fair, and I take my hat off to

the dog’s owner for showing patience I wouldn't have had. I don't know

how he was able to control himself, maybe it was the fear of being shot

himself.

Looked like the entire "posse" had them surrounded.

 

Makes me ashamed to admit that I'm even from the same State.

 

PLEASE, PLEASE, Come down with both of YOUR barrels on this guy. Like your

site, it  turned

up when I did a search for the town as I'm seething over seeing the videos

of

what took place with the entire family.

 

I'd be happy to send a contribution to the family to help them buy a new

pup although I'm sure

nothing will take the place of the one who was destroyed by a stupid, gun

happy cop.

 

Jim Hall

 

____________________________

From:

RHull2222@aol.com

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

CC:

mayor@cookeville-tn.org

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 10:26 pm

Subject:

When will these people be fired?


Hello, I found your website after reading about the sick and totally uncalled for use of force on this family - if the police officials really believe all of this is /was justified...well, it's later than we  think Americans!  It's time to restore our rights as Americans to be considered innocent before being proved guilty.  I only wish I could be on the jury for the civil law suit..

R Hull

My 1/8 note...

Subj: This is America, Mr. Charles Womack?
Date: 1/8/2003 10:56:26 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: RHull2222
To: mayor@cookeville-tn.org
CC: gfowler@cookeville-tn.org

Dear Sir,  I just viewed on CNN the tape from the THP showing the "aggressive", "attacking" and "circling to attack"  family dog....you people are a trip...it's not 1955 anymore  and the camera doesn't lie...I agree...the attack dog was wagging it's tail - I'm sure it was just a ploy - good thing your "policeman" saw though that!

Tomorrow I will call every Federal Official, every elected official I can reach to insist that for something like this to occur (a complete disregard for the most basic understanding of the principals that these "policemen" are sworn to uphold)
there MUST be a series of other events that would encourage and promote this type of behavior. For the policeman to put forth (and swear to in the police report) such a lame excuse only compounds this crime.

The fact that this family was treated in this fashion before the "attack dog" self defense shooting is unbelievable and should be the subject of very public review.

I believe it's time for some new leadership for the police in Cookeville, and termination for the "officers" involved - that's justified just on my viewing of the tape on CNN - I hope the nation will demand no less.

R Hull
Lucia, NC 

_______________________

 

From:

"Titos" <rtito@netcomsouth.com>

To:

<mayor@cookeville-tn.org>, <safety@mail.state.tn.us>,, <info@ci.cookeville.tn.us>, <geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 12:42 am

Subject:

Justice for the Smoaks family


I am writing in relation to the Smoaks family that was wrongly pulled over

and held at gunpoint. Not only were they terrified and harassed when they

were pulled over, but they had to watch as one of their beloved dogs got

murdered.

 

I copied this from www.tennessean.com. Everyone should go there and read the

full story

 

Dispatcher Shannon Pickard of the Nashville office told investigators the

woman believed the out-of-state car had ''been up to something.'' His

statement was provided to reporters yesterday.

 

According to Womack, Pickard issued a bulletin at 5 p.m. to all Middle

Tennessee law enforcement agencies to inquire whether any robberies had

occurred involving a green station wagon with out-of-state tags. No replies

fitting the description were received.

 

In Cookeville, THP dispatcher Timothy Glenn McHood issued a BOLO notice,

which means ''be on the lookout,'' to the troopers in his area. In an

interview with THP investigators, McHood said he noted that the green

station wagon ''could possibly'' have been involved in a robbery.

 

 

How can you issue a "be on the lookout" for this car that "could possibly be

involved in a robbery" when there WAS NO ROBBERY!!!!   He should not have

issued anything on this car because again there was NO robbery. Did he even

THINK or RESEARCH the situation??  I think Mr. McHood should loose his job

as well as the other officers who refused to close the car door of a very

cooperative FAMILY and the maniac who fired his shotgun on an innocent PET -

what if he had hit a person?

My deepest sympathies go out to the Smoaks family and their pets. I am not

one to say that people should sue, but I hope they sue the pants off of the

Cookeville Police Dept. and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (and every

company/agency involved). I live in TN and I am very ashamed of the actions

and miscommunications performed by this agency that is supposed to protect

and help us. It even makes me afraid of what will happen if I ever get

pulled over....

What has our society come to? Justice must prevail to teach officers to

think before they issue bulletins and treat innocent people like dangerous

criminals.

 

___________________

From:

"C W Jern" <cwjern@bellsouth.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 10:08 pm

Subject:

family pet


Despicable. Cookeville.

                   

________________

From:

"Sarah Wild" <jen@tbtbbs.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 9:46 pm

Subject:

WHERE IS 911 CALL???


Re: Felony Stop, Dog Shooting in Cookeville.

 

Where is transcription, or recording of the 911 call that started all

this mess??  Whoever took that call, and then ok'd the "felony stop" are

the ones who need to HANG...

 

Sarah Wild

________

From:

"Lilian Crow" <liliancrow@hotmail.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 9:27 pm

Subject:

Cookeville dog shooting


hi geoff,

 

while researching the shooting of a pet dog by "officer" hall, i came across

your website. first of all, kudos for reporting about all the "interesting

little things" in the closet of the Cookeville PD (among other things). it

does not only help an outsider like me to form an opinion apart from what

CNN or other news sites offer, it also makes me see some things in a

different light than before. if there was ever such a thing as "benefit of

the doubt" about "officer" hall's actions, it has now been removed entirely.

 

i am part of an international online community of over 12,000 avid readers

who are particularly interested in what's going to happen to "officer" hall

- and rest assured they will stay on the ball. appeals have been posted in

several locations to email Tennessee officials. I will continue to post the

link to your site so people can check back for updates.

 

best regards,

lilian, concerned dog owner

_________________________________________________________________

 

From:

DonYelton47@cs.com

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

CC:

wncpls@charter.net, westofthemoon@charter.net

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 9:23 pm

Subject:

fyi


Geoff:

I called you yesterday and now have reviewed you web site several times.  The local talk show jocks here are saying the dog shooting was acceptable under the situation.
They are disguised as conservatives.  No true conservative can support the police state of having this type of treatment brought against your family based on a dam_ phone call.

The constitution says that you are to meet you accusers.  These new laws where a neighbor can call and say they suspect that you are mistreating you child permits the DSSS_B's to kick your door down and come in your house and take your child.

Other new laws can result in the animal control coming on your property and taking your dog and you never know who make the call.

I think that any report suspicious act must require that the accuser must know that they will face the accused in court. This will stop this type of hysteria.  The false report here is the problem.  Was the car doing 110 mile an hour?  If not they have a case against the woman who made the call, false accusations.   Is there any evidence that this car was involved in a robbery.  Think not. Again someone made an error in judgment.  Who here is responsible.   Did the highway patrol make that call are did they go on the word of a woman on a phone call.

If this be true, we must call in that all law officers in Cookeville were seen mugging a child and they will have to be thrown on the ground, arrested and handcuffed before we ever see any proof.  And, if he hesitates in dropping his gun, the arresting officer could be threatened and bang, you guessed it.

I do not hate cops, I try my  best to respect them but this caper set law  enforcement in Tennessee, state and local, back to civil rights days.  Now, governor you must show us something or we will be worrying about our new speaker in DC.

I am serious,  complaint driven law must be supported by the complainer knowing that he will be in court.  This will stop a lot of false reporting.   Thank God for cameras in police cars.   This now protects the citizen as much as the officer. 

Go figure that one if you can.

Don Yelton
North Carolina

___________________

From:

"Daniel W. Van Riper" <dwvr@atecone.net>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 4:21 pm

Subject:

Act of Terrorism


The unprovoked attack on the Smoaks family was nothing more or less than

an act of terrorism.  Under provisions of the so-called "USA Patriot

Act", these terrorists should be immediately brought before a military

tribunal and punished for endangering the lives and security of American

Citizens.

 

We all know what will happen instead.  The terrorists will be carefully

protected by the Al-Qaida like network of old boys in power, and

eventually be rewarded for their behavior.  They will commit more acts

of terrorism, and shoot more pets for fun.

 

Since justice will not be served, I will pass my own sentence:  If I

ever have the misfortune of passing through Cookeville, TN, I will not

spend a single penny of my own money, but I will make a special point of

leaving my urine.  I call upon like-minded Americans everywhere to do

the same.

 

This sentence will be voided ONLY if the citizens of Cookeville take

pride in their American Citizenship and overthrow the terrorist regime

governing them, preferably peacefully.  It has happened elsewhere in

America, it could happen in Cookeville.

 

Daniel W. Van Riper

dwvr@atecone.net

 

___________________

 

From:

Rick and Amy Wallace <cptwallaceusa@yahoo.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 4:04 pm

Subject:

Web Site Material


Thank you so much for providing information about the Crazy Cookeville Cops

on your web site.  Without this site many people would never know the truth

and the past acts or neglect and abuse in their administration.  I am still

in a complete daze after reading the material you have provided, no wonder

they are not punishing that officer for shooting the dog, hell they would

have to throw the whole force in jail including their chief and mayor.  If I

lived there yesterday I would not be a resident of Cookeville today.

 

Rick Wallace

Baumholder, Germany

_______________________

 

________________

From:

"o'happy cookie" <ohappypit@hotmail.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 3:37 pm

Subject:

 


 who blew the whistle on terry & paul-randolph ? your answer/ we will  go

from there

 

_______________________________________________________

 

From:

Mkstarbuck@aol.com

To:

geoff@putnampit.com, rterry@ci.cookeville.tn.us, safety@mail.state.tn.us,, dsundquist@mail.state.tn.us, mayor@cookeville-tn.org,, contactus@cityofcookeville.com, tom.lightsey@state.tn.us, pkeith@ci.knoxville.tn.us

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 3:25 pm

Subject:

Pet Murdering Cop


Please people, I am writing as I am sure so many already have before me about the disregard for life the officer who shot the obviously friendly family pet.  It should be embarrassing for this police chief to continue to provide excuses for his officer.  What a disgrace!  I actually read the Police Chief claimed the officer was one of his most compassionate on the force.  If this officer was one of the most compassionate, then it leads me to wonder who else is on the force, a bunch of baby killers and wife abusers.  People should be held accountable for their actions and these participants in this renegade stop should all be held accountable from the person who claimed possible robbery to the unbelievable careless act of cruelty placed upon the pet and the family.  How can anyone watch that tape and actually believe the officer was in fear for himself and others.  I grew up in Tennessee and have always gotten upset about the remarks made regarding the backwardness of the south.  Now since there seems to be no one willing to take responsibility for this horrendous act, I can never again take up for my home state.  Does the Chief understand how foolish he actually sounds?  Does the City Manager know that people will not tolerate this?  Did he really say it was "Just a Dog"?  I am appalled and will be watching this story closely.  All my support is 100% with this family.  I pray their pain will heal, it will be hard, but I pray they can heal from this infliction of injustice.  While I pray for them, I too will pray for the other people who will be driving through your town.  God forbid they lose their wallet!
Melanie Starbuck
1312 8th Ave. S.E.
Decatur, AL 35601
256-353-1674
_______________________

From:

"Ken James" <nautikat@gulftel.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 3:20 pm

Subject:

Tenn. law re: wrongful killing of pet


http://www.animallaw.info/articles/aruswroot2002.htm

 Go to Tenn. T-Bo act.  Pass it on. -Ken

 

________________________

From:

"Alesa" <AlesaNWC@bellsouth.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 2:45 pm

Subject:

You go, Geoff!!!


A bunch of us former co-workers in Knoxville are discussing the Smoak

incident and various other first hand accounts of Cookeville police

brutality on our listserv. One of our unhappy band recalled your site from

several years ago. Thanks for offering a public forum in which to vent and

search for solutions.

 

In my opinion, nothing gets the attention of good old' boys until they feel

it in their back pockets. Therefore several of us propose an economic

boycott of Cookeville. Not that many Knoxvillians drive from here to there

as a destination, but there is a heck of a lot of interstate traffic between

our cities. At best Cookeville is a place to grab a quick meal, hit the

restroom and get back on the interstate toward our ultimate destination.

But if enough people, through heightened awareness made possible by forums

like this, refuse to spend one cent in Cookeville, they might get the

message that they need to clean up their act.

 

Folks reading this, please do your part to put the hurt on this backwards

city administration by refusing to spend one red cent in Cookeville until a

shakedown of its corrupt administration is delivered on and a report made

available to the public.

 

For what it's worth, here are my comments on the petition.

 

"The dog shooting incident is an embarrassment to this state. The people

demand a prompt investigation and MEANINGFUL sanctions for all responsible

parties in this tragedy. Officials of Cookeville must be held accountable

for this and many other incidents of undue force by law enforcement if they

are to gain the public's trust. Judging from numerous accounts of incidents

prior to the latest injustice, these police officers are nothing more than

thugs in blue. I and others who are outraged by these incidents have vowed

an economic boycott of Cookeville and are advising our associates to avoid

stopping there when traversing the state."

 

Thanks for your good work, Geoff. We know that the corrupt administration is

not reflective of you nor the great majority of Cookevillians who have to

put up with those ignorant, power-hungry yokels every day.

 

- Alesa Rottersman

Knoxville, Tennessee

_____________

From:

William Ames <bill@hikepa.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 12:13 pm

Subject:

Kudos for a great site!


After reading about the Cookeville Police (due to the dog shooting

incident), I'm grateful that you have your web site up and running.

 

Porno rings, cops shooting each other, animal cruelty, trigger happy arrests

.. . .

 

If I can make a donation to your legal funds, I'll be happy to do so!

 

--

 

William Ames

PO Box 845

State College, PA 16804

http://www.hikepa.com

bill@hikepa.com

 

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

                    Thomas Jefferson et al

 

____________________

From:

Deborah Lauderback <raydebkatieq@yahoo.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 12:12 pm

Subject:

DOG KILLER


Well I'm embarrassed to say but I live in the wonderful state of TN.  We were thinking of retiring in the area of Cookeville, but now we don't have to waste our time looking for a place in that direction.  Please let everyone know that not all cities in TN  have ignorant, redneck officers working for them.  We don't have friendly, tail waging dog killers here in Cleveland.  Don't judge all of  us here in TN by the example of one ignorant jackass.

Our sincere regrets to the Smoaks family,

Ray, Deborah & Katelyn Lauderback


From:

"Kenneth Rose" <krrose@worldnet.att.net>

To:

"letters to the editor" <geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:51 am

Subject:

Cookeville Police Out of Control


Cookeville Police Officer Eric Hall should be suspended WITHOUT PAY.  He should be charged as would any other citizen for wanton endangerment and killing a pet.  The motorist had merely left his wallet on his car while getting gas and was assaulted by your Gestapo Police Force.

 

I am disgusted.  This will cost Nashville $$ Millions in tourist revenue; much less hurt the reputation of Tennessee Tech.

 

This is another example of how we live in a Police State and our rights are being constantly violated.

 

K. Rose

Huntsville, AL

(formerly Nashville resident)

_______________________

From:

"Marc Blume" <musicman@rovin.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:41 am

Subject:

WORST of the WORST


One day(SOON), Officer Hall, may you meet a similar fate you NAZI PUNK.      Marc Blume 23 year veteran.   Georgia/Indiana

_____________________________

From:

"Bruce Walker" <walkerb@HEPC.WVNET.EDU>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:41 am

Subject:

Cameras


Reading the internal investigation regarding the Smoaks I find it interesting that both Cookeville officers turned off their on board cameras before the incident because of “overload” problems. I would suggest the town get better camera equipment if they are subject to “overloads” that allow officers to hide their actions. Without the THP tape there would have been no recording. Demand the cameras stay on at all times!

 

Bruce Ray Walker

General Counsel

West Virginia

Higher Education Policy Commission

Suite 700, 1018 Kanawha Blvd. East

Charleston, WV 25301

304-558-0695

walkerb@hepc.wvnet.edu

 

_____________________

From:

Kristy <yhatze@yahoo.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:37 am

Subject:

Dog shooting


I hope the American Military in Iraq are not as trigger happy as the Cookeville Police.  God forbid they all trained at the same school.  Might be more than a dog we loose next time.  Might be our World.


 

From:

Dirtpig10@aol.com

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

CC:

mayor@cookville-tn.org

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 4:54 pm

Subject:

Dog Shooting


Being an old army sergeant I am a firm believer in training personnel to

handle situations and or contingencies that they may be faced with in the

normal operation of duties.

Apparently facing down a family pet isn't covered in the "handbook."

With that said maybe I can offer a suggestion.

Lock an unarmed Hall and a true fierce fighting dog in a room together so

that he can differentiate between the two.

DASH CAMS WORK!!!

 

 

Ken King

Another very disgusted son of the south

________________

From:

"richard" <richardclinton@cox.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:44 am

Subject:

dog shooting


Captain Bob,

I would like to commend your department for it's brave and thoughtful action with shooting the dog.  How dare that dog get out of the car wagging its tail.  There must not be many dogs left in your town with that kind of decisive action your officers take.  Those criminals that they had handcuffed were lucky they were not shot as well.  After all, just being near Cookeville must be a capital offense.  The officer who shot the dog is invited to come to our town and speak before our local animal rescue organization on animal control.  On second thought, keep him there.  In fact, put him on trial and if by some remote possibility he is found guilty, sentence him to community service at the animal shelter.  He would probably prefer to have the duty of putting the animals down.  What a sad pitiful day for your department.  Shame.  Shame.  Bad cop!

Richard Clinton

San Juan Capistrano

_________________

From:

KA369W@aol.com

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 5:17 pm

Subject:

DOG SHOOTING


I THINK YOUR WEB SITE IS IN VERY POOR TASTE......CONSIDERING WHAT HAS HAPPENED  NOT LONG AGO WITH THE DOG SHOOTING BY A COOKEVILLE POLICE OFFICER.......I WAS JUST TRYING TO FIND THE POLICE DEPT..E-MAIL ADDRESS...WHEN I FOUND THIS SITE.....I AM NOT VERY HAPPY WITH WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND AFTER LOGGING ONTO YOUR WEBSITE.....I CAN ALMOST UNDERSTAND THE MENTALITY OF YOUR TOWN AND COUNTY..
...........KATHY WAUGH...........GAINESVILLE GEORGIA

____________________________

 

From:

"Goofy Foot" <goofyfoot2001@hotmail.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 11:17 am

Subject:

My prayers go out to Officer Hall


 

 

 

I pray he is never allowed to carry a badge again.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

From:

David Cabana <dcabana@saffrontech.com>

To:

"'geoff@putnampit.com'" <geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 10:02 am

Subject:

is there a fund for Smoak legal expenses?


I imagine the Smoak family may need a little financial assistance to to

properly go after the people who killed their dog. If you have contacts for

any sort of fund, I would like to contribute.

 

David Cabana

dcabana@saffrontech.com

 

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and

thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series

of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken

 

__________________

From:

"Ralph Davis" <jralphdavis@hotmail.com>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 8:44 am

Subject:

Cookeville Police Incompetence/Corruption


Hi there.

 

This dog-murder incident that the Cookeville police are trying to sweep

under the carpet reminded me of something I heard about when I was a

journalism student at Tennessee Tech (and I can tell you -- hardly anyone on

campus trusted the Cookeville PD).

 

Several of the students at that time (mid-to-late '80s) told me about an

incident that supposedly happened at a mini-mart close to campus. It seems

that the police got wind of a planned robbery at that store. So, they told

the cashier that someone would probably be coming in to rob the store, but

that they would be watching behind a 2-way mirror so it would be okay. Sure

enough, the robber came in and held up the store. Then, just before he

opened the door to leave, he turned and put a bullet in the cashier's head.

 

I was wondering whether you had heard anything similar to this -- and

whether you had anything to confirm it.

 

Thanks in advance,

Ralph Davis

 

___________________________________

 

From:

"Scott Johnson" <scottj@scott.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 8:19 am

Subject:

Whatever happened to the Peace Officer?


The recent tragedy regarding the Smoak family and their pet dog in inexcusable and criminal at best!

I feel the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Cookeville Police Department severely abused the Smoak family and are responsible for felony animal abuse *murder* of their pet dog. Those involved should be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions. From my perspective, the officers involved are not fit to wear a police badge nor are they responsible enough to own and possess firearms. The lot of them showed reckless endangerment for all citizenry and for each other as well. The events that took place in this incident makes one wonder how they could possibly handle a "real" crisis in a professional matter.

It is a shame when the general population of the United States of America is more afraid of the police than the criminals at large. Whatever happened to the Peace Officer, have they all been replace with Nazi-era Gestapo agents? Sadly enough, it appears as though they have.

 

Scott Johnson

Saginaw, Alabama

_________________

From:

"Don Beck" <donbeck12@attbi.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 8:11 am

Subject:

Bob Terry and the entire police department


Geoff,

This morning I saw with disgust the recent dog shooting by the Cookeville police department. This was on NBC’s Today show. I then got on the Internet to send Bob Terry my opinion of him and his staff only to find that they have shut down their web site. Probably because millions of people like me are furious and angry that these idiots even have jobs. That’s when I came across your website. I commend you for this site. It tells a much bigger story than just this recent dog shooting. I’m surprised they haven’t arrested you on trumped up charges just to shut down your site. It sounds like you live in a small southern town ruled by the corrupt local cops. I grew up in Alabama so in a way I can relate. I’m sorry stuff like this continues to exist. Good luck and keep up the good work. If there is anything I can do to help bring these morons down let me know. Anything legal that is.

 

Thanks for listening,

Don

 

Denver, Colorado

____________________

From:

"Wave-Com Tower Svc., Inc." <wavecom@neopolis.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

CC:

<rterry@ci.cookeville.tn.us>,, <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>,, <contactus@cityofcookeville.com>,, <tom.lightsey@state.tn.us>,, <pkeith@ci.knoxville.tn.us>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:59 am

Subject:

RE: Police Murdering Family Dog


Thanks for giving us a place to vent our rage.  I watched in absolute horror and disgust as the Today Show played the video of the "police officer" shooting the tail wagging Smoak Family pet, Patton.  I have three animal companions and if anyone murdered them like Patton, I would hunt them down and dispose of them in the same manner.  Those so called officers don't deserve to belong to the human race, they are a total disgrace.  I certainly won't travel through this county without my own handgun for my protection and I won't stop for the cops there.  I plan to send a donation to the Smoak Family for attorney fees, so they can sue the pants off Cookeville P.D.

____________________

From:

"Andrew Werner" <andywerner@earthlink.net>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:49 am

Subject:

Eric


I do hope the officer comes back as a dog in his next life and

gets his head blown off for wagging his tail.

What a jerk!

Not really human.  A real animal!

Oh, TN. never in my life will I drive on I-40 thru that state.

At least Florida is considered a colony of NY and NJ. Yankees

here do not blow heads off dogs while the family watches.

Happy New Year

 --- Andrew Werner

--- andywerner@earthlink.net

___________________

From:

"rjdaa110" <rjdaa110@cox-internet.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 8:28 am

Subject:

dog shooting


Please pass on information to the Cookeville Police Chief that the office involved in the dog shooting had a right and an instinct to protect himself.  His life is more important than the dog's.  It is unfortunate that the dog ended up an innocent, but the officer did not have time to make that determination.

 

Joan DeKerlegand

 

____________________

From:

dante labeaux <creig11@yahoo.com>

To:

letters to the editor <geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 7:14 am

Subject:

OFFICER HALL SLAUGHTERING A FAMILY'S PET


dear sir

i was trying to send an e-mail to the city web page but it is down,probaly due to all the hate mail. i was browsing cookeville's google search matches and it looks like cookeville is no stranger to controversy.

i was outraged about what happened to the smoak family.law enforcement needs us honest citizens in order to do their job and they wonder why nobody wants anything to do with them.i hope this cop and all the others on that scene are disciplined and fired but i know that won't happen.

ok thanx....i feel better now.....

creig speed
pensacola,fl.

______________________________

From:

"rjdaa110" <rjdaa110@cox-internet.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 8:28 am

Subject:

dog shooting


Please pass on information to the Cookeville Police Chief that the office involved in the dog shooting had a right and an instinct to protect himself.  His life is more important than the dog's.  It is unfortunate that the dog ended up an innocent, but the officer did not have time to make that determination.

 

Joan DeKerlegand

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________

 

 

From:

"T Newman" <2tntnewman@msn.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Fri, January 10, 2003 6:25 am

Subject:

Message for your Cookeville Police Dept


HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT A POLICE DEPARTMENT COULD BE SO IGNORANT, IRRESPONSIBLE, AND INCOMPETENT?  I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT POLICE OFFICERS HANDLED THE SITUTATION SO INAPPROPRIATELY WITH THE FAMILY FROM SALUDA, NC AND THEIR DOG, PATTON.   

 

THE ENTIRE DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE TESTED FOR MENTAL STABILITY, IQs, AND COMPETENCE! 

 

IF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE I KNOW - YOUR ENTIRE LITTLE TOWN AND SO-CALLED POLICE DEPARTMENT WOULD BE SUED FOR EVERY PENNY YOU HAVE!!!! 

__________

Terry leading candidate for 'Big Ugly Brother'

Check out World Net Daily for great activities of Chief Terry's "Finest" (WHAT?).
He's my leading candidate for this weeks Big Ugly Brother.

You have my condolences for living with that trailer trash. I'm trying to get his email address so I can copy this to him.

Thanks. chuck from world champion ohio

I know the cops are supposed to protect us from the criminals, but who is supposed to protect us from them?

I have worked and taught criminology for a few years.  This "procedure" was something we never trained officers to do.  Can you say pepper spray or night stick.

I am saying that there is no official procedure but officers are supposed
to use deadly force only as a last resort.  They could have used less
deadly force than to shoot the dogs head off with a shotgun.  In fact, they should not be pulling over families for a felony stop without a bit more evidence than someone's random cell phone call.  Imagine if I just want to mess with someone, I just randomly call the cops and accuse the person of robbing a bank (not saying which bank, just a bank). Do you know how dangerous a felony stop can be.  A cop with an itchy trigger finger not properly trained, might easily mistake a suspect's intentions and think the suspect is going for a gun when the suspect is going for a wallet.  Just ask the victims of the New York shootings.  I know the cops are supposed to protect us from the criminals, but who is supposed to protect us from them?

As an officer on the scene,   I would have made sure the dogs were secure, and called for either an animal unit like ASPCA, or the pound.  I
personally look at the situation the same as a human life.  Try to talk the animal down, and if it attacks then defend yourself, but deadly force should be used as a last resort.  If you read the article, the owner said that the dog had the personality of Scooby Doo.  Yes the dog might be pissed to see the father, mother, and son arrested and put into the police car.  However, I doubt the dog was much of a threat.  The officer's excuse was that he thought it was a pit bull and felt it was threatening him.  The least he could have done, if he really felt threatened was to back the dog away gently.

Read the other story provided by the herald citizen.  They make it seem like it was all acceptable.  I have heard of the rep of this officer,
because my friend has called the police for domestic abuse charges before, and he does nothing to the husband except calm the husband down and send him back to the wife and tells the wife you should not break up the family.  The guy is creepy hothead.

My point is how would you like to be innocent, returning from vacation, not read your rights, and not be in the capable trained hands of an officer who should immediately be suspicious that the suspects in question are armed robbers when they look more like the Brady bunch.  My concern is that the investigation is being done by Cookeville police, and if they already said the officer is innocent what kind of investigation will that bring.  This is the only town I have been in, where most of the citizens fear the police, other than perhaps Compton, Oakland, or Detroit, etc. cheers tom <tbrignall@citlink.net>


Outraged and sick of Cookeville corruption and mismanagement

I AM AN OUTRAGED,TAX-PAYING, LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN OF THE U.S. AND A RESIDENT OF PUTNAM COUNTY. I AM SICK OF OUR CORRUPT PUBLIC OFFICAILS SUCH AS MIS-MANAGER SHIPLEY--JUST TO NAME A FEW. THE LATEST INCIDENT OF POLICE BRUTALITY OF THIS FAMILY FROM N.C. HAS SET OFF A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE.  I AM NOW ON A CAMPAIGN--I WOULD LIKE YOUR ADVICE ON WHO (BESIDES MY CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS) I SHOULD CONTACT ABOUT THIS LATEST FIASCO THAT IS GOING TO COST US MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  THIS FAMILY DESERVES TO WIN MILLIONS AFTER THE BRUTALITY THEY ENDURED AT THE HANDS OF OUR SO-CALLED LAW ENFORCEMENT, BUT I AM SICK OF PAYING FOR THEIR INCOMPENTENCE.  ANY HELP YOU CAN PROVIDE WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED. I HAVE FRIENDS FROM OUT OF STATE WHO HAVE HEARD THIS STORY ON THE NEWS AND I WILL PROVIDE THEM NAMES, ADDRESSES, E-MAIL OF WHO TO CONTACT. "Debbie Harris" <blondenerve@charter.net> 


Who is going to pay for this Fiasco, Mr. Shipley?

From: debhow-harris
To: JSHIPLEY@COOKEVILLE-TN.ORG
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 1:16 PM
Subject: POLICE INCOMPETENCE/BRUTALITY

AS A LAW-ABIDING, TAXPAYING CITIZEN--I AM OUTRAGED ABOUT THIS LATEST FIASCO INVOLVING THE FAMILY FROM N.C. WHO WERE SURROUNDED BY THP AND CKVL POLICE AT "GUNPOINT" AND THEN THE FAMILY DOG WAS KILLED WITH A SHOTGUN??? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!!!   BEFORE I SIGN A PETITION FOR YOUR OUSTER (NOT TO MENTION OTHERS THAT NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE) I WANT TO KNOW WHAT ACTION YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE--HOW YOU ARE GOING TO MANAGE THIS CITY MORE EFFECTIVELY, AND WHO IS GOING TO
PAY FOR THIS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT THAT WILL BE FILED AGAINST THE CITY.  I AM SICK OF PAYING THRU THE NOSE FOR INCOMPETENCE IN OUR CITY GOVERNMENT.   THAT INCLUDES YOU AND YOUR TRASHY GIRLFRIEND.
 "Debbie Harris" <blondenerve@charter.net> 


City Attorney stands to profit from dog killing

From: debhow-harris to City Attorney Mike O'Mara
  To: MIKEO@COOKEVILLE.TOTAL-WEB.NET
  Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 1:21 PM
  Subject: NEW LAWSUIT THAT WILL COST CKVL RESIDENTS MILLIONS

HOW MUCH MONEY ARE YOU GOING TO CHARGE THE TAXPAYERS TO DEFEND AN INCOMPETENT  POLICE FORCE AND INCOMPETENT PEOPLE IN OUR CITY GOVERNMENT???  THERE IS NOT A  JURY IN THE WORLD THAT WILL NOT AWARD THE SMOAK FAMILY FROM N.C. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  THEY DESERVE TO WIN IT, BUT I AM SICK OF PAYING OUT FOR CORRUPTION AND MISMANAGEMENT IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND THAT INCLUDES YOUR OFFICE. "Debbie Harris"<blondenerve@charter.net> 


Time for Mayor Womack to get step up to the plate

From: Debbie Harris

To: ctwomack3@hotmail.com

Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 1:51 PM

Subject: Dog-killing police brutality of N.C. family

It is now time for you to step up to the plate and deal with our corrupt, ineffective, costly city government.  This issue with the family from N.C. is very serious and everyone is OUTRAGED about it.  This is going to cost me and all residents in this county millions of dollars.  You will not be able to straddle the fence on this issue.  This should cost a lot of people their jobs beginning with city mis-manager Shipley who has never been able to get a grip on the police department. I have been horrified by his mis-conduct since I learned of his trying to censor the editor of the Putnam Pit.  That flys in the face of our constitutional rights as taxpaying citizens of the U.S.--what is our local government so afraid of that they try to censor an opinion (or facts). A lot of people didn't even know about this publication until Shipley pulled this stunt. If anything, a lot of people are getting on the "Put Pit" site to read about our corrupt "leaders"?? if you can call them that. Heads need to roll---we are all watching our Mayor to see if you were worth voting for.

________________

 

From:

"Ben Hayward" <ben@theregalgroup.com>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 6:47 am

Subject:

YOU HAVE PROBLEMS IN YOUR POLICE DEPT


That CoP EricHAll needs to be SHOT himself

 

Ben Hayward

Technical Sales Manager

The Regal Group

ben@theregalgroup.com

704-965-9380 phone

704-882-3939 fax

 

________________

From:

"Dale Gladfelder"<dalegraves@earthlink.net>

To:

geoff@putnampit.com

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 11:24 am

Subject:

the shooting of 2-1/2 year-old Patton


Dear Putnam Pit,

 

I've just read several accounts of what the Tennessee Highway Patrol and

Cookeville Police Department did to the Smoak family.  I have tried to e-mail

the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Cookeville Police Department, Cookeville's

Mayor, and the Governor of Tennessee, but these websites have been locked for

the past 2 days.  These are my questions:

 

Who ordered the felony stop?  This person needs to be identified.  On what

basis did this person assess the situation and decide a felony stop for

dangerous criminals was called for?  Did anybody in the Tennessee Highway

patrol stop to think that this was about a lost wallet?  And that the family

they arrested was the father who lost his wallet?

 

The police didn't even listen to the family.  We can all hear what they're

saying.  How come the gung-ho police didn't listen to the family's desparate

pleas to shut the car door to keep the dogs safely in the vehicle?  Why didn't

the police listen?  Do the Cookeville police usually shoot first and ask

questions later?

 

You can see on the video that the dog bounds out of the car, wagging its tail.

 Patton looks like a young dog, mixed breed, medium sized, friendly and

non-threatening.  The dog understandably got excited and upset with the

enormous tension of the situation.  Patton's family or PACK was handcuffed and

under threat.

 

What kind of training do the Cookeville Police receive regarding family dogs?

Does Eric Hall have kids, does he have a dog as a family member?  If he does,

he doesn't understand much about dogs.  If our very friendly Westie perceived

our family to be under threat, she would get upset and start barking and

charge ahead to investigate--protecting her pack.  THIS IS WHAT DOGS DO. 

 

I hope the Smoak family sues the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Cookeville

Police Department.  I hope that the person who ordered the felony stop and

Eric Hall will be held accountable for their actions.   This reprehensible

incident makes it clear that there is something seriously wrong with the

leadership and training of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Cookeville

Police Department.

 

This won't bring back Patton, the Smoaks'  beloved and innocent family dog.

Patton died a horrible death.  The Smoak family, especially teenager Brandon,

will be traumatized for a long time.  

 

I doubt much will be done.  So far, the THP and Cookeville Police have issued

the usual bureaucratic justifications for what they did.   As for the rest of

us, I think we can all learn from this to STAY AWAY from TENNESSEE for family

vacations.

 

A substantial loss in tourism dollars may be the only thing that gets the

Governor of Tennessee's attention.  

 

________________________

From:

Mentsch2@aol.com

To:

letters to the editor <geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 10:54 am

Subject:

SHOOTING OF FAMILY PET



Dear Editor----All I can say is that the police, or at least one of them, really blew it. If he/they had taken the earplugs (when firing weapons) out of his/their ears, they would surely have heard the innocent people asking them to close the car door so the dog would not get out. I guess that wasn't important to them. They thought they caught Bonnie & Clyde. I hope that the people of your fair town ask for some type of action at the next city council meeting. Something has to be done to correct this mess. I am so upset that I could go on and on. But, I have to bite my tongue for a few minutes.
Best Regards,
Howie Rubin
South Bend, Indiana 

__________________________

From:

"Larry R. Rankin" <lrrankin@101freeway.net>

To:

<geoff@putnampit.com>

Date:

Sat, January 11, 2003 10:19 am

Subject:

thoughtless and thinkless


This is a video of a family on vacation being stopped by your local police for losing their own money--they asked as being handcuffed the police to please keep the door closed because of their family pet dog inside.  The police did not care about their plea and concern for their family friend.  When you watch the film you will see the dog jump out of the vehicle with it's tail wagging in a friendly way and the police officer shooting it several times with a shotgun.  It is not just the one police officer at fault, it was all of them for not listening to the plea of all family members as the police already had the family handcuffed and under control.  No crime ends with family pet killed because the police departments feels they do not need to listen!!!  This is a problem...I would have seen blood in my eye if it happened to me!  I hope the police gets sued for millions and the family wins. 

 

 Larry R. Rankin

 

_______________________

 

Initial posting of nation outrage, disbelief sent to Cookeville officials following dog shooting

What a black eye for a great city like ours!

From: "Bob Allison" <imagemaker@citlink.net>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Unbelivable Police Action.

Date: Thursday, January 02, 2003 8:22 PM

I love Cookeville. It has been my home for 57

years and I have seen our town become a great city. I respect our leaders and Chief Terry. I hope something will be done to relieve the officer who shot the dog of his right to bare any firearms. Perhaps you could keep him as a janitor or something not quite as critical as his judgement may cost someone their life. What a black eye for a great city like ours. Sure hope something will be done on the behalf of the citizens of Cookeville who voted for you.

Regards,

Bob Allison

__________________

Will avoid Cookeville forever

Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.33.0301051717300.31768-100000@archimedes.doner.org>

From: dan@doner.org

To: Gail Fowler <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: What a nice place you have

Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 18:18:44 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

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After reading this I think I'll seek to avoid your town for, oh, say... forever.

Dan Doner

Fort Collins, Colorado

_________________________

I will never visit your town

From: <MichaelRRoy@aol.com>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Your town

Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:51 PM

After reading all the accounts of what happened regarding the shooting of a tourists dog by one of your smiling police officers, trust me when I tell you that I will never visit your town. In fact, I will post it to a newsletter that has a wide circulation. It is the NSS. I hope that cavers stay away from your city.

Mike Roy

Realtor

(505) 501-0984 Cell

(505) 428-8344 Direct

(505) 428-8351 Fax

MichaelRRoy@Aol.com

WWW.French-French.com

______________

We have come to expect whitewashing and coverups

Message-ID: <00a901c2b5b8$183e9640$39508fd8@jack3> From: jack maclean <jmac@iapdatacom.net>

To: Charles Womack <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>
Subject: Fw: attention THP captain Randy Hoover

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 13:16:19 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

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----- Original Message -----

From: jack maclean <mailto:jmac@iapdatacom.net>

To: safety@mail.state.tn.us <mailto:safety@mail.state.tn.us>

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 2:14 PM

Subject: attention THP captain Randy Hoover

The brutality your men executed against the Smoak family just reinforces the

general public's conviction that police can't be trusted. It hurts your

effectiveness, and that of good police all across the country.

 

If you ignore this opportunity to get rid of the men responsible for that

tragedy and to publicize your actions, you are just adding to the perception

that "the cops are as bad as the criminals". We have come to expect

whitewashing and coverups. Please don't succumb to that temptaion. Please

exercize real leadership and do the right thing.

 

jack maclean

_________________

Cookeville police lack professionalism

Message-ID: <20030106202518.94772.qmail@web20304.mail.yahoo.com>

From: goose goose <lovely4u22001@yahoo.com>

To: Charles Womack <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Do the right thing, Mr. Mayor.

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 14:25:18 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

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Dear Mr. Mayor:

Please do the right thing and make sure that your

police department is honest about that incident with

the North Carolina family. That story is going all

over the world. All the major news media have a copy

of the story. Just be honest and say "our people

screwed up." This could end up costing your city and

county millions of dollars. I would hate to think

that such a thing could ever happen to my wife and

child. Clearly your officers are lacking in

professionalism. Do the right thing, Mr. Mayor.

Don't make yourself the butt of ridicule and jokes all

over the world. Do the right thing. How would you

feel, Mr. Mayor, if your grandchild was on her way to

visit you had her dog's head blown off by a policeman.

Think about that, Mr. Mayor. Think about the

implications of all this. Do the right thing, Mr.

Mayor. Think about this tonight as you go to bed. Do

the right thing. People are watching.

__________________________________________________

Any city policy on cops who blow pet dog's heads off with shotguns?

From: "Geoffrey Kidd" <sehlat@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Just Curious

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 2:02 PM

Any city policy on cops who blow pet dog's heads off with shotguns and then

laugh about it? Your city is going to be a horrible example for TIPS

program opponents for years to come. Congratulations!

 



 

From: "Joanne Christie-Shpak" <sacajaweabaucis@hotmail.com>

To: <safety@mail.state.tn.us>

Cc: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Patton - Dog Killed by Police

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:42 PM

 

I am greatly saddened by hearing the horrible story regarding the

unfortunate killing of Patton, a family dog by a police officer in

Cookeville. I would like to see a full investigation of this incident. I

also would like to request that the police officer(s) involved in this

incident be held responsible for their extreme negligence.

According to a news article by Mary Jo Denton, Herald-Citizen Staff, the

Smoak family of North Carolina were mistakenly pulled over in Cookeville and

their family dog was shot fatally in the head. I understand that James Smoak

was traveling in the family station wagon with his wife, their 17-year-old

son, and the family's two pet bulldogs, Patton and Cassie. Mr. Smoak had

placed his wallet on top of the car while pumping gas and forgot about it.

The wallet flew off somewhere on the highway. Another driver had seen the

wallet fly off the car and had seen money coming out of it. She reported

what she witnessed, causing the THP to follow the Smoak's car.

Mr. Smoak soon began to notice that a THP squad car was following him. When

Mr. Smoak reached the 287 exit area in Cookeville, three other police cars

suddenly appeared, and the trooper then turned on blue lights and pulled the

Smoak car over. Mr. Smoak immediately pulled to the side of the road. He was

ordered to toss his car keys out the window and get out with his hands up.

His wife and son were also ordered to do the same and the Smoaks fully

complied. They were handcuffed and placed in the patrol car.

Concerned about their beloved dogs left in their car, the Smoaks repeatedly

asked the officers to close the car doors so the dogs would not run out onto

the highway, but the officers refused. Inevitably, one dog came out of the

car and headed toward one of the Cookeville police officers who was

assisting the THP. "That officer had a flashlight on his shotgun, and the

dog was going toward that light and the officer shot him, just blew his head

off," said Pamela Smoak. "We had begged them to shut the car doors so our

dogs wouldn't get out, and they didn't do that."

When the officers did discover the mistake, "they said, 'Okay, we're

releasing you and we're sorry,'" Smoak said.

If one of the officers involved simply took a moment to close the car doors,

Patton would still be alive. His family would not have had to witness his

head being blown off as they sat helplessly handcuffed for a crime they did

not commit. At the very least, the police should have closed the car doors

so that the dogs did not run on the highway and cause a traffic accident.

This type of extreme negligence is completely unacceptable and has caught

the attention of concerned people worldwide who will be following the

outcome of this incident.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention regarding this very serious

matter.

Joanne Christie-Shpak

 



 

From: "yes guy" <yesguy@myrealbox.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Police insanity.

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 12:35 PM

I just read about your local storm trooper police who abuse citizens and

shoot thier pets.

http://www.herald-citizen.com/NF/omf.wnm/herald/news_story.html?[rkey=002425

1+[cr=gdn

I used to vacation a fair amount in your state. That ends now.

 



 

From: "Joann Redelius" <joheaven@bellatlantic.net>

To: <safety@mail.state.tn.us>; "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: police shooting

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:15 PM

Captain Randy Hoover

P.O. Box 826

1291 Bunker Hill Rd

Cookeville, Tenn. 38501

Phone: (931) 528-8496

Email: safety@mail.state.tn.us <mailto:safety@mail.state.tn.us>

(mail.state.tn.us)

 

Cookeville Police Department

10 East Broad Street

Cookeville, TN 38501

Phone: (931) 526-2125

Cookeville Mayor Charles Womack

City of Cookeville

45 East Broad Street

Cookeville, TN 38501

Phone: 931-520-5241, 931-526-9591

Email: mayor@cookeville-tn.org <mailto:mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

(cookeville-tn.org)

Please fully investigate police shooting of family dog

Dear Sirs,

Please accept this letter as a petition requesting the immediate and full

investigation regarding the unfortunate killing of a family dog by a police

officer in Cookeville. I request that the police officer(s) involved in this

incident be held responsible for their extreme negligence.

According to a news article by Mary Jo Denton, Herald-Citizen Staff, the

Smoak family of North Carolina were mistakenly pulled over in Cookeville and

their family dog was shot fatally in the head. I understand that James Smoak

was traveling in the family station wagon with his wife, their 17-year-old

son, and the family's two pet bulldogs, Patton and Cassie. Mr. Smoak had

placed his wallet on top of the car while pumping gas and forgot about it.

The wallet flew off somewhere on the highway. Another driver had seen the

wallet fly off the car and had seen money coming out of it. She reported

what she witnessed, causing the THP to follow the Smoak's car.

Mr. Smoak soon began to notice that a THP squad car was following him. When

Mr. Smoak reached the 287 exit area in Cookeville, three other police cars

suddenly appeared, and the trooper then turned on blue lights and pulled the

Smoak car over. Mr. Smoak immediately pulled to the side of the road. He was

ordered to toss his car keys out the window and get out with his hands up.

His wife and son were also ordered to do the same and the Smoaks fully

complied. They were handcuffed and placed in the patrol car.

Concerned about their beloved dogs left in their car, the Smoaks repeatedly

asked the officers to close the car doors so the dogs would not run out onto

the highway, but the officers refused. Inevitably, one dog came out of the

car and headed toward one of the Cookeville police officers who was

assisting the THP. "That officer had a flashlight on his shotgun, and the

dog was going toward that light and the officer shot him, just blew his head

off," said Pamela Smoak. "We had begged them to shut the car doors so our

dogs wouldn't get out, and they didn't do that."

When the officers did discover the mistake, "they said, 'Okay, we're

releasing you and we're sorry,'" Smoak said.

If one of the officers involved simply took a moment to close the car doors,

Patton would still be alive. His family would not have had to witness his

head being blown off as they sat helplessly handcuffed for a crime they did

not commit. At the very least, the police should have closed the car doors

so that the dogs did not run on the highway and cause a traffic accident.

This type of extreme negligence is completely unacceptable and has caught

the attention of concerned people worldwide who will be following the

outcome of this incident. Please keep me updated on the investigation.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention regarding this very serious

matter.

Sincerely,

JR

--

Joann Redelius, Heaven's Gate Animal Rescue Ltd.

P.O. Box 2781 Baltimore, MD. 21225

Please spay or neuter all your pets.

Be part of the solution, not the problem it's your choice.

We want to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season

__________________

From: <THORNTONC@aol.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>; "Jim Shipley" <jshipley@cookeville-tn.org>; "Stephanie Miller" <smiller@cookeville-tn.org>; <chamber@cookeville.com>

Subject: Rockwood Resident in Asheville

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:29 PM

The responsiblity to protect and preserve people and personal property from

the instant that custody begins is well established. The courts have long

ago determined that an officer has that responsibility!

A dog couped up for an hour and a half is going to want to get out and romp!

Even into traffic!!

Raleigh News - Channel 5 WRAL http://www.wral.com/news/1868613/detail.html

___________________

Message-ID: <DAV19XwaoJqzcLMr6QU0003de02@hotmail.com>

From: Uncle Donald <deruss@msn.com>

To: Charles Womack <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>, Gail Fowler

<gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: six questions

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 10:01:16 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

Content-Type: text/plain;

charset="iso-8859-1"

 

Donald E. Russ

<mailto:deruss@msn.com> deruss@msn.com

_______________________

Message-ID: <ECD416EEC1DE2447A844CEC0EDAE64F3175E09@bert.ci.cookeville.tn.us>

From: Steve Corder <swc@cookeville-tn.org>

To: Gail Fowler <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject:

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 15:28:01 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

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-----Original Message-----

From: oceanfox@dslextreme.com [mailto:oceanfox@dslextreme.com]

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:12 AM

To: Steve Corder

Subject: Smoaks Family

 

City of Cookeville,

You should be ashamed of the conduct of your police officers and their

caviler attitudes toward the Smoak family after they killed their family

pet. I am truly ashamed to have to admit that I have family in Cookville.

I sincerely hope that the Smoaks and their attorney ruin your city and its

officers.

Dr Fox

________

Message-ID: <20030104175753.23711.qmail@web40614.mail.yahoo.com>

From: jeff stewart <jkstexas2001@yahoo.com>

To: Gail Fowler <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject:

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 11:57:53 -0600

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After reading what happenned to that poor Smoak

family, where they were falsely detained, and

Tennessee Law Enforcement shot their family dog

without reason, I truly believe out of control law

officers pose just as much threat to our country as

does al Qaeda, and I will make it a point to never

stop and spend one dime in your town. This event has

cast the entire state of Tennesseee in a very, very

bad light, not only on a national but also on an

international level. I suspect that even firing the

Law Officer at this point would not save the state the

millions of dollars lost in tourism revenue because of

this horrible event.

__________________________

Message-ID: <004501c2b3b8$c1ddfb20$224118d8@oakes>

From: Jane Oakes <oakes@naxs.com>

To: Gail Fowler <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject:

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 00:16:01 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

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You should be ashamed. Cookeville has never been my favorite place to stop

but I can assure you I will never stop there again. Treating people like

common criminals and then SHOOTING THEIR DOG!! Disgusting. I hope that

couple sues your city for a million dollars! You (Cookeville) have always

had a reputation as a speed trap now you can add the reputation of

inhospitable and inhuman treatment to visitors as well. Why should we worry

about terrorists from Iraq when we have home-grown terrorists, in police

uniforms, in Cookeville.

 

Jane Oakes

Abingdon, Virginia

______________________

From: "Trey Wilkins" <lk125@hotmail.com>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: What a bunch of incompetent inbred jackasses...

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 12:27 PM

To do what you did to the Smoak family is despicable and deplorable. As a

resident of GA, you are a disgrace to the SE. Tennessee and most certainly

your idiotic town will never see a dollar of my money.

Trey Wilkins

__________________________

From: <DOBBERKCD@aol.com>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: (no subject)

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 2:28 PM

Message-ID: <113.1d174d1f.2b4b4107@aol.com>

From: DOBBERKCD@aol.com

To: Gail Fowler <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: (no subject)

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 14:28:55 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

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Sirs,

The incident of January 4 involving the Smoak family from North Carolina is

a disgrace.Harassing innocent tourists is certainly going to enhance the

desirability of Tennessee as a vacation paradise.This incident is

shameful.Keep it up and watch your economy disintegrate. Bill Cook

 

______________________

From: "Geoffrey Kidd" <sehlat@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Just Curious

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 2:02 PM

Any city policy on cops who blow pet dog's heads off with shotguns and then

laugh about it? Your city is going to be a horrible example for TIPS

program opponents for years to come. Congratulations!

___________________

From: <DLFul2002@wmconnect.com>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Whoops!

Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 6:45 AM

Message-ID: <b7.2c6be373.2b498300@wmconnect.com>

From: DLFul2002@wmconnect.com

To: Gail Fowler <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Whoops!

Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 06:45:52 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

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This is the most outrageous action I have come across. Do your law

enforcement officers graduate from the eight grade?

I don't know your city. I have never heard of it, but I would hope that

someone cleans house on this one. This could be anyone's family. Any dog may

become "aggressive" watching its owners treated in the manner described for

no apparent reason. What would the man have done had it been an aggressive

three year old child upset about the treatment that Dad was receiving? I

suppose he could have always beaten it with a nightstick.

David Fulbright

Missouri

>>>Losing your wallet in Cookeville, Tenn., can get you handcuffed on the

side of the highway and your dog shot to death by police - at least, that

was the experience of a North Carolina family returning from a vacation in

Nashville.

James Smoak apparently left his wallet on the roof of the family station

wagon New Year's Day while getting gas prior to pulling onto Interstate 40,

reports the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.

He discovered it was missing after three police cars swarmed his vehicle in

what appeared to be a traffic stop.

But this was no ordinary traffic stop.

According to Smoak, a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer broadcast orders over

a bullhorn for him to toss the keys out of the car window, get out with his

hands up and walk backwards to the rear of the car. Smoak obeyed and was

subsequently ordered onto his knees and handcuffed at gunpoint. Officers

similarly handcuffed his wife, Pamela, and their 17-year-old son with their

guns drawn.

_________________

From: "Roman" <soc@scc.net>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: To Mayor Womak

Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 11:14 PM

I read the story about the Smoak family and how you folks down there

brutalized them... you do realize this is America don't you? I am sure you

have plenty of honest, hard working police officers there that put their

lives on the line daily... we are all thankful for what they do. For the

ones involved in this incident... you ought to all be very ashamed and you

should also be looking for men that can be trusted with such authority

rather than openly abusing it.

_____________

From: "artjeanswy" <artjeanswy@msn.com>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: The Tennessee shake-down continues

Date: Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:36 PM

The old reports of Newport and how they took advantage of out of state

persons pales by comparison by you nitwits.

 

I hope that your tourist 'industry' falls flat due to your inept Mayor and

Police Department. Give a Category 5 a gun and away we go! In order to

elect such jerks in order for them to select such inferior policemen leads

anyone to realize that your average voters IQ in Cookeville ranges between a

cinderblock and a chipmonk.

 

Art Swygard. Not from Tennesse and ashamed to be a neighbor

______________

From: "Bob Lowe" <webbedouin@starband.net>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: so how do you explain this

Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 8:38 PM

Looks like cookesville tourism is is going

down. Whatdaya people hire LAPD rejects for

police?

In the counsels of Government, we must

guard against the acquisition of

unwarranted influence, whether sought

or unsought, by the Military Industrial

Complex. The potential for the

disastrous rise of misplaced power

exists, and will persist. We must never

let the weight of this combination

endanger our liberties or democratic

processes. We should take nothing for

granted. Only an alert and

knowledgeable citizenry can compel the

proper meshing of the huge industrial

and military machinery of defense with

our peaceful methods and goals so that

security and liberty may prosper

together."

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farwell Address,

January, 1961

"They that can give up essential

liberty to obtain a little temporary

safety deserve neither liberty nor

safety." Benjamin Franklin

We must coerce all children to recite

a "statement of Christian socialism."

- American Fabian Socialist Rev.

Francis Bellamy, the man who wrote the

Pledge of Allegiance

"Civil disobedience is not our problem.

Our problem is civil obedience. Our

problem is that numbers of people all

over the world have obeyed the dictates

of the leaders of their government and

have gone to war, and millions have

been killed because of this

obedience... Our problem is that people

are obedient all over the world in the

face of poverty and starvation and

stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our

problem is that people are obedient

while the jails are full of petty

thieves, and all the while the grand

thieves are running and robbing the

country. That's our problem."

Howard Zinn, "Failure to Quit"

_________________

From: "Hill" <hill@whidbey.net>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: smoake family incident

Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 7:02 PM

I HOPE YOU FIRE THE THUG IN UNIFORM.

________________________

From: "Pamela Rudolph" <pam@brandadvancement.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Smoak Family - Family Dog Patton

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 12:10 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with this family as they grieve for their dog

and attempt to understand why they were treated so badly by law enforcement

officers who are their to protect and serve. I sincerely hope that the

agencies involved look into this matter.

 

Please give the Smoak Family this e-mail and let them know that there ARE

caring people who are sincerely sorry for the loss of their beloved dog

Patton. Dogs like Patton have very big hearts and they love their families

with all of their being. I am sure this is why this family is grieving for

Patton.

 

Pamela and Paul in Florida

____________________

From: "Gregory Anderson" <habanerofan@hotmail.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Smoak Family treatment.

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 6:34 AM

Message-ID: <F154nzbUKXTU4eR74xZ00007da0@hotmail.com>

From: Gregory Anderson <habanerofan@hotmail.com>

To: Charles Womack <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Smoak Family treatment.

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 06:34:31 -0600

MIME-Version: 1.0

X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

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I was informed of an absolutely stunning situation which supposedly happened

in your neck of the woods. you don't owe me any favors, that's true; you

don't even know who I am.

 

My name is Gregory Alan Anderson, and I'm writing to find out if there is

any truth to the story about a family named Smoak, the shooting of their

dog, and the way that the police profiled them, information based upon a tip

from a phone call, etc.

 

I'm not one who likes to receive emails which are just legends and lies, and

I'm thinking this has to be the case here. Can you advise. Perhaps there

is another side to the story which I have not heard and if so a link to that

newstory or something would help me tremendously.

 

Thanks.

Greg Anderson

1016 Chelwood Pk Blvd NE

Albq., NM 87112

_____________________

From: "Rideout Family" <wa6ipd@nctimes.net>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Smoak family

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 4:53 AM

Shame on your city and those police officers who terrorized the Smoak

family. You need to fire some of those Storm Troopers that you call

police officers.

Mr. & Mrs. H A Rideout

Fallbrook, CA

__________________

From: <Tmthands@aol.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Smoak family

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 11:36 AM

Mr. Mayor,

I am shocked, appalled & dismayed to find out that the officers you have

employed are so inhumane as to kill a pet. How could these idiots be the

people we pay to protect us. When we give them the authority to wear a gun

that should come with a competency test to make sure they are reasonable and

caring as well as strong and brave.

I would like to believe the officer that shot the dog is immediately fired

and the officer who thought it was funny be suspended without pay for one

month with community service hours at the local humane society.

I grieve for this family and do hope you bend over backwards to rectify this

pitiful situation immediately.

Regards,

Patricia Taylor

________________

From: "Uncle Donald" <deruss@msn.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>; "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: six questions

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 10:01 AM

 

Donald E. Russ

<mailto:deruss@msn.com> deruss@msn.com

Mayor Charles Womack

<mailto:mayor@cookeville-tn.org> mayor@cookeville-tn.org

C/o City Manager Jim Shipley

<mailto:info@ci.cookeville.tn.us> info@ci.cookeville.tn.us

City of Cookeville

45 East Broad Street

Cookeville, TN 38501

Copy: Police Chief Robert Terry

City of Cookeville, Department of Police

10 East Broad Street

Cookeville, TN 38501

Dear Mayor Womack:

 

Regarding the New Year's Day shooting, I am doing research for a columnist

who has a deadline early Friday morning. I ask you please to respond by

email to this on or before Thursday, December 9, 2002. Be advised that your

failure to respond by Thursday will be understood as a conscious tactical

decision made by you.

 

Question One: Officer safety is not absolute. If it were, the Cookeville

felony stop procedure would employ hood-mounted 50-caliber machine guns.

After all, the safest way for the officer to approach the suspects is after

shooting them all dead.

So there is a trade-off. With hindsight, it is clear that this officer made

a poor choice in this situation. It is just as clear that this officer

requires some feedback on his professionalism and his judgment. What action

will the City take to give that feedback to this officer and to his fellow

officers?

Question Two: At the time the dog was shot, the two adults and the oldest

child were in handcuffs and presented no threat to the officers. Before the

dog emerged from the car, the Smoaks had cautioned your officers that the

family pets might emerge. No doubt, the family was more concerned that

their pets would become lost, not become dead.

When one pet did emerge, the Cookeville Police Chief said the officer had no

alternative to shooting the dog dead in order to, "protect himself and gain

control of the situation." This is not true. Why was the Smoak family not

used to control the dog?

Question Three: The docile, willing compliance of citizens who are

challenged by officers is the single most important feature of this

relationship to promote mutual safety. Unprofessional or unnecessarily

violent behavior by officers in Cookeville jeopardizes the future safety of

officers in Cookeville, in Tennessee and across this country.

If Interstate 40 between Knoxville and Nashville becomes known as the wild

west and travelers who know they are innocent feel justified in running from

the flashing blue lights, how do you think that might bear on officer safety

in the future?

Question Four: The bulldog is a small, slow, friendly breed. At the time

the shotgun was fired, the officer knew he was dealing with a family and

that this animal was the family pet. Yet the mere approach of this animal

caused the officer to resort to deadly force.

If your officer were so terrified by, for example, people who wear beards

that he was quick on the trigger, he would not be suited for his job.

Similarly, if your officer was so terrified by small animals that he could

make rational decisions when confronted by one, he was incompetent to do

police work. How many Cookeville police officers suffer from debilitating

phobias?

Question Five: The Smoak car was stopped, everyone got out and the doors

were left open. A man was waving a flashlight a short distance from the

car. The natural behavior of any domesticated animal would be to get out of

the car and approach the flashlight. If the holder of the flashlight barks

at the dog and gestures with the flashlight, the dog may hesitate in its

approach and walk to one side.

Your Police Chief Terry characterized (spins?) this entirely natural

behavior of the dog saying it, "approached aggressively" and then "started

to circle." Is there any behavior typical of a domesticated dog that would

not result in it being blasted apart?

Question Six: It may be said that the Cookeville police officers were

completely innocent, minding their proper business and legitimately

concerned with their own safety. Of course, the same could be said of the

Smoak family.

If I am traveling near Cookeville with my dog and my gun when I encounter a

police officer, should I shoot first and ask questions later?

Mayor Womack, these six questions demand answers. Please know that I

appreciate the burden these recent events have placed on your office, but

that burden will only increase if you avoid these six questions.

You, Sir, represent the political authority that controls the police force

that shot the dog. Each of the six questions requires its own answer and

you will be accountable for what you say and do. You will also be

accountable for what you fail to say or do.

Sincerely yours,

Donald E. Russ

<mailto:deruss@msn.com> deruss@msn.com

___________________

From: "Aaron Doud" <lordauric@darklords.net>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Regrading the Dog Murder on 1/1/01

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:16 AM

Dear Mayor of Cookeville,

Tonight I was informed of your city by way of the news of this

tragic event. I would like to issue a complaint on my part for the

gross mismanagement of this. It appears that the TN Highway Patrol is

more at fault but this doesn't matter. It has put a dark face on your

city for me. I plan to avoid you city at all costs for the rest of my

natural and unnatural life.

And I would like to say the Police Chiefs statement was horrible in

my eyes. All he was doing was trying to protect the city from a lawsuit

by acting like it isn't your fault. Had he maybe appolgised for real I

might think this family should just move on. But since your city hasn't

try to fix this in anyway I say sue your city silly. Umm buy them a new

dog maybe? Or maybe get the kid who was crying a playstation or

something. I am sure your city can afford to do something. Did you

even buy this family a meal? Hell if the city wouldn't pay for a meal

the mayor should have at least. Something should have been down.

Instead all I see is people playing damage control. Once again like I

said I hope they get a load of money from your city.

Also I have sent this story to all my local news sources and

forwarded it to CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC/MSNBC, FOXNEW and the O'Reilly show

itself, plus Bob and Tom. An associate of mine has also sent it to

various radio news shows. And I have started a campaign on both ign.com

and corvetteforum.com to spread the word locally and nationally. Maybe

a little bad press will help you and your city do the right thing.

I hope you get local protests and your tourism falls because this is

unexceptable behavior for police officers. Maybe next time they will at

least shut the door so they don't feel the need to blow a dog away in

cold blood with a shotgun of all things. BTW I know loads of car

jackers who take their families along. Had anyone really thought this

was a car jacking they would have been trying to protect the family not

arrest them and kill their dog. The sad part is had one of the family

been shot or killed this would already be national news and the officer

would be suspending and fired.

May God have mercy on all yours souls for using spin control and not

just helping that family,

Aaron C. Doud

Rock Island, IL

__________________

Lack of Police protection disturbing

From: Trey Strock <tstrock@awod.com>

To: Charles Womack <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Regarding the SMOAK family incident

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 10:02:51 -0600

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Dear Mayor Womack:

 

I certainly hope that you consider the police actions against the Smoak

family, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30324

<http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30324> , as

attrocious as I.

 

The lack of Protection and Service by your Police department is more

disturbing than had a crime actually taken place.

 

Is the governments role to turn our American cities and counties into

fascist Police states?

 

I sincerely hope that you take action to insure that an incident like this

NEVER happens again.

 

Sincerely,

 

Trey Strock

North Charleston, SC

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Cookeville police test lower than 6th grade?

From: <RPear23456@aol.com>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: REF: killing Smoak family pet dog

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 5:05 AM

What grade level are your police tested at? Know the national average is

6th grade level but your boys seem to have reached a tad lower. Guess all

the stories about dumb rednecks are true.

___________

What’s the City going to do?

From: "tstevens96" <tstevens96@cox.net>

To: "Gail Fowler" <gfowler@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Question about Cookeville

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 7:35 AM

 

Dear City Officials:

 

Just a quick question.

 

What is the City of Cookeville going to do to:

 

(1) Compensate the Smoak family for the entirely unwarranted and traumatic

police attack upon them?

 

(2) Instruct government officials, especially police officers, upon the

elements of the Bill of Rights that deal with requiring a warrant and

probable cause before they stop and arrest somebody? (Might check the

Fourth Amendment on that).

 

Chief Terry's statement appears to show great concern for the dog that the

officer shot -- that is laudable -- but it shows little concern for

fundamental rights of American citizens.

 

Hope to hear from you soon.

 

Richard Stevens

________________

Police Department or Gestapo?

From: "Tom" <tomaricustomrods@comcast.net>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Police department or gestapo?

Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 4:08 AM

What are you going to do about the officer or should I say MURDERER that

shot the family pet? Getting stopped like this was commonplace in East

Germany years ago but here in Tennessee???

 

I hope that family sues Cookeville for all it is worth and the State also!

But knowing how the police stick together there will never be any charges

brought forward I am sure. The state and county has already admitted guilt

when the offer of a payment for the dog and hotel was offered. I am truly

amazed at what goes on in this once great state.

 

Maria Renzetti

____________________

Time for an outside, independent investigation?

Message-ID: <002501c2b2de$c763b740$6400a8c0@chucks>

From: "Chuck G." <charles546@charter.net>

To: Charles Womack <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: Police Department

Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 22:15:40 -0600

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Sir:

With the resent event that took place and the destroying of a

family pet, Don't you think it is about time you have an outside

investigation into the actions of the police department. The officers

involved should be suspended until an investigation is completed, I also

think the police chief needs to investigated on departmental policy and

changes are needed badly.

It's bad when 2 officers shoot it out like Wild West Gun Fights on

TV, but when private citizens are being hurt !!!!

 

I have seen city police speed through school zones (Yellow school

light flashing slow to 15 mph) he was going at least 35mph, only to find

them shopping at Staples Last 4 digits of lic. on police car was 5052... Dec

0f 2002, They turn and look the other way on gambling at the Bowling Lanes.

They don't stop drivers that run red lights right in front of them, What is

going on, they haven't stopped the drug sales at various taverns either. And

my pet peeve they drive around in rain storms without there car lights on.

If you want to stay a small back water hick town keep going they way you

are, or come of age and make the painful changes away from "The Good Old

Boys attitude".

___________________

From: "Tim Cullen" <cullenfish64@yahoo.com>

To: "Charles Womack" <mayor@cookeville-tn.org>

Subject: New ways to encourage tourism???

Date: Monday, January 06, 2003 7:11 AM

Mr. Womack,

After reading over the article concerning your wonderfully intelligent

police department (sensitive too, might I add) as well as the genuine, and

downright friendly folks of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, I just want to add

my two cents to what I'm sure will be a full inbox for you come the end of

the day and say that thanks to the actions of your law enforcement agency as

well as the THP, it'll be one cold day in hell before I ever spend another

dime of my tourism dollars in the state of Tennessee. From now on, it looks

like we'll spend our time in North Carolina.

I've got a family full of law enforcement officers and I'm proud to say that

none of them would ever be so damned stupid as to conduct themselves in the

manner that your officer did. That man should have his badge stripped from

him and blackballed from the law enforcement community forever. Unless of

course, he's kin. Then he should be taken out behind a shed and

pistol-whipped for disgracing his family that way.

I've read some atrocious things about cops before but these yahoos of yours

just take the cake.

Tim Cullen, Panama City, FL

 

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