Details emerge regarding animal cruelty complaint against GPD officer

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A Thursday afternoon Facebook post accusing an officer of the Griffin Police Department of animal cruelty led to calls for the officer’s termination.

Posted under a Facebook account identified by the name Jordin Elizabeth Mitchell, the complaint read, “I’ve never been so appalled by an officer before.”

It went on to allege the officer strangled a goat while moving it to an Animal Control transport van.

“An officer under the car number 214 came into my yard without anybody knowing and drug my goat out by his neck all the way there then he continued to pick him up by his neck with a wire around it continuing to not let the animal breathe and flung him into the back of the control car,” the Facebook statement read.

Video posted to that personal Facebook page appeared to show the GPD officer using a catch pole to remove the goat named Marty from the property.

“That’s the safest way to do it for the animal and the person. I’m no animal control expert, but the animal wasn’t being abused. It wasn’t being struck. It was just being led along on the catch pole,” said GPD Chief Mike Yates.

In response to questions regarding why a GPD officer was working in the capacity of Animal Control, Yates explained that it was necessary due to the Animal Control officer being temporarily out of office due to medical purposes.

The complainant alleged that a warning had been issued to remove the goat, as livestock is not permitted within the city limits, but that the time frame for removal had not concluded.

“(They) told us to move him by a certain time and we were still within the time frame,” the complainant stated.

However, The GRIP has obtained a copy of a court order that contradicts that allegation.

The court ruling – a default judgment – which is identified as City of Griffin v. Jesse Mitchell, states, “This action came into default on June 8, 2017, by the defendant’s failure to file an answer or other defensive pleading and failure to appear in court. Fifteen days have elapsed from that date, and the default has not been opened as a matter of right or by order of the court. It is ordered and adjudged that the plaintiff now recover of the defendant the sum of $375, with interest and costs of this action. It is further ordered that the plaintiff shall be authorized to enter the premises to remove the goat and transport it to the Spalding County Animal Shelter. Any costs associated with the housing of the goat shall be assessed against the defendant as restitution in the foregoing matter.”

The default judgment was signed and so ordered by city of Griffin Municipal Court Judge Bill Johnston on the morning of July 20.

“It’s unfortunate, but if she’d complied with the law, we wouldn’t have been out there,” Yates said.

The complainant took to the Spalding County Discussion Page – the largest local social media public forum – seeking support in her efforts to have the GPD officer fired.

“Please help the situation and file a complaint about officer car 214 please!!!!” the complainant urged.

As of late afternoon, Yates was unaware of any formal complaints being filed against the officer in this matter.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. You would think that the city of Griffin Police has more important issues to be addressing on the daily then the removal of a goat? Could this not have been left to animal control, upon their return, whom I can only hope would not handle a family pet in such a cruel manner.

  2. Theresa Mitchell says:

    Dear Ms. Mathews:

    My name is Theresa Mitchell and I am the parent of Jordin and Jesse Mitchell who were involved in the incident today concerning our goat. I would like to first say that the citations are incorrect. First of all, my son is a 17 year old minor who owns no property and no animals. While law enforcement likes to flip-flop and charge our 17 year olds as juveniles one minute while at the same time being allowed to charge them as adults, the last I checked, the United States Government still considers a 17 year old a minor who is too young to enter into a contract required to purchase property such as a house or a goat. Therefore, he is improperly named and cited for these charges.

    In addition, if you look at the citations closely, you will see that he was actually cited for having chickens, not a goat. After arguing with the Court officials, they finally accepted the fact that we have never owned chickens and that the citation is incorrect.

    Our fault in all this is that their father and I are are busy lower-middle classed parents of three teen-aged children who work ourselves to death trying to make ends meet. Yes, we missed the court date and had every intention of contesting the citations, but because of our busy work schedules, we overlooked the court date. Now our son has been charged with this frivolous act that he is not guilty of and we have had to pay nearly $500 in extra fines. And if that is not enough, a police officer had to come to our house today and retrieve our goat in such an inhumane fashion that it makes me sick to my stomach. You must understand that this goat has been a pet to children since it was a baby and it would not hurt anyone. For that officer to put a choke-collar on our goat as if he were a vicious animal and drag him to the vehicle, thus, choking him the entire way is unacceptable. In addition, he picked our goat up by the neck and slung him into the vehicle causing him to slide half way across the floor of the vehicle. If I treated an animal in this way, I would likely be charged with animal cruelty. I do not understand why our law enforcement is allowed to act in such a way. The impact this has had on my teen-aged children is appalling and unacceptable. My children, ages 19, 17 and 14, were home alone when this incident occurred and did not know what to do. Their father and I were both at work. There was no reason for this officer to display such aggression towards a docile pet. You can blame us for missing our court date, you can back up the law enforcement officer and pretend that this is all within his scope of duty, but you can never justify his inappropriate behavior towards an undeserving, gently animal. I hope that the readers of the Grip stand up for what is right in this town and I hope the officer is dealt with by management accordingly. If it takes formal charges to require action to be taken against this officer, maybe someone can help me figure out how to take these action and stop this type of inhumane behavior towards our animals in this city.

    For the readers who are concerned about the fate of our goat, please let them know that we were able to rescue him from the kill shelter. We have safely transported him to a temporary home outside of city limits until we can figure out what to do with him. I would like to thank everyone who showed my children support today concerning this unnecessary incident.

    Sincerely,

    Theresa

  3. Alicia Mascarenas says:

    Judge Bill Johnston

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: