It’s Good to Be the King’s Men

In 2000 the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act was passed. The law made it a federal offense, one carrying some fairly stiff penalties, for harming a law enforcement animal:

Under the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act, which went into effect this week, anyone convicted of purposely assaulting, maiming, or killing federal law enforcement animals such as police dogs and horses could be fined at least $1,000 and spend up to 10 years in prison. Previously, the animals were covered by a variety of state, rather than federal, laws.

Were you or I to beat a drug sniffing dog we’d face a potential decade in a cage. Because this is a nation of laws and all are equal under the law the same applies to law enforcers themselves, right? Wrong. As usual, the law is applied differently to serfs and the king’s men. If you wear a badge the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act apparently doesn’t apply to you:

A Ramsey County deputy who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after beating his canine partner during an out-of-town event will keep his job despite the sheriff’s office’s attempt to fire him.

Deputy Brett Arthur Berry was fired April 8, a few months after a Carlton County, Minn., judge sentenced him to a year of unsupervised probation for the June 2015 incident at Black Bear Casino. Berry admitted that he got drunk while at the casino for a canine officers’ certification event and beat his K-9 partner, Boone, out of frustration when he had a hard time putting the German shepherd back on the leash after taking him outside for a walk.


In a decision filed Monday, state arbitrator Gil Vernon wrote that the sheriff’s office did not sufficiently consider mitigating factors when it moved to fire Berry, and those factors show Berry is at a low risk of future misconduct. He noted that Berry had been forthright about his behavior that night and he sought alcohol abuse treatment afterward.

Not only did Mr. Berry receive an extremely lenient punishment for attacking his K-9 partner but he won’t even lose his job in the end. Can you imagine the shit show that would have occurred had one of us mere serfs beat his K-9 partner? I highly doubt admitting to our misconduct and seeking alcohol abuse treatment would satiate the State enough to keep us out of a cage.

It’s good to be the king and it’s good to be one of the king’s men.

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