Fort Worth Grand Jury No-Bills Police Officer Who Hunted Down and Killed Lost Pet

Bentley, as pictured on the Star-Telegram website.

Bentley, as pictured on the Star-Telegram website.

Remember when a freak with a gun Fort Worth deputy police chief Kenneth Flynn was charged with animal cruelty after chasing down an owned, lost dog called Bentley with his SUV and shooting him in the street?  A grand jury failed to indict Flynn, who retired after the killing:

Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, a dog or coyote that has recently attacked a domestic animal may be killed by any person witnessing the attack or by the attacked animal’s owner if that owner had knowledge of the attack.

Welcome to Vagueville, home of gun nuts and regular people trying to live with their pets – and never the twain shall meet.

But yeah, that “knowledge of the attack” thing? A bit sketchy:

Flynn initially denied any involvement but later admitted to investigators that he shot at the dog with his city-issued .45-caliber Glock 30 after learning in a phone call from his sobbing wife that their cat was dead and being told by a neighbor that a German shepherd had been standing over the dead cat.

Denied any involvement. A hallmark of justified police actions – because when you know what you did is righteous, lie. And apparently no one saw any animal kill the cat. But a neighbor saw a German shepherd checking out the dead cat – a normal response from any dog – and she told someone who told someone who had a Glock. The perfect beginning to any story.

The Fort Worth police department meanwhile continues to investigate itself in the matter of the three responding officers who failed to file any report on the shooting. That too is more than a little dodgy:

When questioned by the officer, Flynn identified himself as a deputy chief with the department. Asked if he had shot at any dogs, Flynn “said he was not involved,” the affidavit states.

Two of the officers visually inspected Flynn’s city-issued SUV while the third officer chatted with Flynn and asked if the officers needed to “look further.”

“No, you’re good. You don’t need to keep looking,” Flynn responded, the affidavit states.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. No need to file a report.  But I’m sure the Fort Worth PD is doing a bang-up job on the investigation.

Flynn’s lawyer applauds the no-bill from the grand jury but laments that his client decided to retire a few months earlier than originally planned due to his arrest – which the lawyer says was all just a bunch of political BS.  Right.  Because seeking a grand jury indictment on police officers when it’s obvious they’re going to get no-billed is totally the hottest thing right now.  Every politician wants one.  If nothing else, for the good will and feeling of trust it engenders within the community.

I hope Flynn takes up some other hobbies in retirement besides playing the Glock version of the telephone game.

Bentley’s owner, who only wants to be identified by his first name for fear of retaliation by the public servants he pays to protect him, still mourns the loss of his pet:

Bryan said he keeps Bentley’s cremated remains in a hallway of his home.  He said the circumstances behind the dog’s death —and whether anything would happen to the former deputy chief — had weighed heavily on him.

So uh, yay – one less thing to worry about.  Thanks Fort Worth!

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

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8 Comments

  1. bestuvall

     /  December 15, 2014

    Dogs kill cats.. cats kill birds and mice and other things.. most cats are not shot with a Glock when they do what nature tells them to do. Death by Glock is not an appropriate punishment for this “crime”. Let’s hope his wife is never unfaithful to him

    Reply
    • Eucritta

       /  December 15, 2014

      While I agree that shooting the dog was not the solution here, I object to the implication that it’s somehow so natural for dogs to kill cats that it’s not behavior worthy of control or correction.
      Cripes.

      My cats are just as much my family as my dog. Wild birds, mice and moths are not, though I don’t approve of allowing pets to kill them either and keep my cats inside in part because of this. But the major reason? People who think it’s okay to hurt and kill cats. Who think their lives are worse as little or less than those of house mice and moths.

      Reply
      • Thank you Eucritta. Well said.

      • simba

         /  December 16, 2014

        If a dog killed my cat I would be exceedingly angry. I would want the dog’s owner to get a very good thump upside the head, especially if they said ‘it’s just a cat’ or any variation thereof, and I would want them to make damn sure the dog never, EVER was left unsecured, unsupervised, or around cats again. Heck, if they used the ‘it’s just a cat’ gambit I would probably attempt to pursue some kind of legal action and I wouldn’t agree with them owning any animal.

        But if some random freak chased their dog down and shot it I would be horrified. Maybe I’d want to have the fear of god put into the dog, but not shot to death on the street without the knowledge of the owner.

  2. mikken

     /  December 15, 2014

    Maybe the cat was hit by a car, crawled back home and was death-yowling before he breathed his last. That sound is guaranteed to bring all kinds of predators (it’s what it’s for, really) so a lost dog would be no exception.

    Was this dog even the dog she saw? Or was this just the first German Shepherd the husband came across?

    Is anyone even the least bit concerned with a cop who is so mentally unstable as to go off on a second’s notice and start shooting at the first “suspect” he comes across who meets the general description? Or with other cops willing to just let fired shots in a residential area slide by without report?

    This incident is indicative of much deeper issues within the departments involved. And a family member is dead.

    Reply
  3. Betty Ferro

     /  December 15, 2014

    It is reassuring that a trigger happy vengeful poor excuse for a human is off the job… We
    All should be safer for it!! Hopeful, reprisal is not a consideration??

    Reply
  4. Karen F

     /  December 15, 2014

    In a discussion recently with family members about Ferguson and all that it implies, I had to point out the disturbing parallels between police shootings of unarmed humans and those of innocent pets. And the parallels in how police departments investigate and exonerate themselves, or are exonerated by prosecutors and grand juries. They had no idea. As much publicity as there’s been to this issue, I think most people still don’t realize how many needless police shootings of pets occur each year, and how vanishingly rare it is for an officer to be held accountable.

    Reply
  5. vida

     /  December 15, 2014

    I’ve started this comment about seven times. Each time I just end up in an angry rant. So, assume an angry, expletive laden rant. And no, I don’t expect justice anymore, which is sad but it saves me from disappointment I guess.

    Reply

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