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Felony Stop Leaves Family Traumatized
Herald-Citizen ^ | 01/02/03 | Mary Jo Denton

Posted on 01/03/2003 4:20:59 PM PST by Copernicus

'Felony stop' leaves family traumatized

Mary Jo Denton

Herald-Citizen Staff

It was the most traumatic experience the Smoak family of North Carolina has ever had, and it happened yesterday afternoon as they traveled through Cookeville on their way home from a vacation in Nashville.

Before their ordeal was over, three members of the family had been yanked out of their car and handcuffed on the side of Interstate 40 in downtown Cookeville, and their beloved dog, Patton, had been shot to death by a police officer as they watched.

****************************

About that time, he heard the officer broadcast orders over a bullhorn, telling him to toss the keys out the car window and get out with his hands up and walk backwards to the rear of the car.

Still not knowing what he was being stopped for, Smoak obeyed, and when he reached the back of the car, with a gun pointed at Smoak, the trooper ordered him to get on his knees, face the back of the car and put his head down.

When he did that, the officer handcuffed him and placed him in the patrol car. Then the same orders were blared over the bullhorn to "passenger" and Pamela Smoak got out with her hands up, was ordered to the ground, held at gunpoint, and handcuffed. Next, Brandon was ordered out and handcuffed in the same way.

Terrified at what was happening to them for no reason they knew, the family was also immediately concerned about their two pet dogs being left in the car there on the highway with the car doors open.

"We kept asking the officers -- there were several officers by now -- to close the car doors because of our dogs, but they didn't do it," said Pamela Smoak.

And as the officers worked in the late evening darkness, their weapons drawn as the Smoaks were being handcuffed, the dog Patton 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."

As the dog was heading out of the car toward the officer, "we had yelled, begging them to let us get him, but the officer shot him," she said.

Grieving for their dog and in shock over their apparent arrest for some unknown crime, the family could only wait. At one point, one state trooper did tell them they "matched the description" in a robbery that had occurred in Davidson County, Pamela Smoak said.

The ordeal went on for a time after that, the family terrified and in grief over the dog.

Excerpted-Click here for complete account


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; US: North Carolina; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: banglist; beufordtjustice; copernicus4; copsontheloose; donutwatch; jackbootedthugs; keystonecops
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Good grief, they shot another dog.

I don't know what these people are taught in the Academy, but someone needs to find out.

1 posted on 01/03/2003 4:20:59 PM PST by Copernicus
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To: *bang_list
Before all the usual suspects from the public school system arrive, I post here the Fallacies Index:

Yes, the Fallacies Index, for the few, the polite, the rational, and the intelligent

Best regards to all,

2 posted on 01/03/2003 4:25:32 PM PST by Copernicus
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To: Copernicus
I read the rest of the story. Damn. Hope they collect. Bigtime.
3 posted on 01/03/2003 4:26:44 PM PST by Eagle Eye
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To: Copernicus
The dog was probably on PCP.
4 posted on 01/03/2003 4:27:28 PM PST by AdamSelene235
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To: *Donut watch
Caste system alert: Shooting a police dog is a capital offense in some places, carrying the same penalties as shooting an officer. But for officers, shooting a peasant's dog is merely SOP - even in a case such as this when they are told about the dogs.

This case ought to be worth a pretty hefty civil lawsuit - if not worth criminal charges for wrongful arrest, deadly menacing, use of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence, conspiracy, and a few others besides.

5 posted on 01/03/2003 4:29:31 PM PST by coloradan
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To: Copernicus
I wonder if any of the officers will face murder charges for killing this family's dog?

After all, they are bastards who equated the life of a K-9 dog with that of a police officer (and got corresponding laws passed in many states), so the sword should cut both ways.

6 posted on 01/03/2003 4:29:55 PM PST by Mulder
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To: Travis McGee
A tidbit for your next book perhaps?

Best regards,

7 posted on 01/03/2003 4:30:00 PM PST by Copernicus
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To: Copernicus
Lucky it wasn't one or more of them, given the thuggery via "Law Enforcement" these day's. Sue 'em! Sue 'em big! Blackbird.
8 posted on 01/03/2003 4:32:04 PM PST by BlackbirdSST
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To: Copernicus
Sweet Jesus! This is SO wrong.....it seems like there are many, many charges that could be filed against these moron cops. If NOTHING else, let's hope they are removed from duty, FIRED. But I hope to see so much more done to them. How could they be this stooooopid?!
9 posted on 01/03/2003 4:38:06 PM PST by EggsAckley
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To: Mulder
Swords only cut one way in caste systems. Swords wielded by Lords against peasants cut the peasants deeply, but swords wielded by peasants against the Lords are deflected by the Lords's chain mail, and may well result in criminal sword-possession charges against the peasants.
10 posted on 01/03/2003 4:41:12 PM PST by coloradan
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To: Copernicus
"I don't know what these people are taught in the Academy, but someone needs to find out."

I don't know what the Academy is teaching them either. But I do know a lesson that life can teach them.

Sometimes, otherwise law abiding people are forced to obtain justice outside the courtroom.

11 posted on 01/03/2003 4:42:20 PM PST by Vigilantcitizen
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To: Copernicus
You know the funny thing is I recall reading in my Bible where a Roman commander was scared to death when he learned he had ordered a Roman citizen (The Apostle Paul) to be placed in shackles.

American police routinely shackle everyone in the vicinity. It's for their own protection you know.

12 posted on 01/03/2003 4:43:53 PM PST by yarddog
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To: Copernicus
This family needs to get ahold of John Edwards...

Sorry, I couldn't help it

13 posted on 01/03/2003 4:45:55 PM PST by greydog
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To: Copernicus
Wow !!! That happend to me and my Bro once....

I had just picked up my New Camaro from the Dealership in '88. Took it home and asked my brother if he wanted a ride. So me and my Bro and my dog hopped in the car and off we went. We were living off San Miguel in Newport Beach,CA and took a spin on Spyglass Hill Just above us. Maybe a 8 to 10 mile ride at most. When we were coming down Spyglass Hill we saw a NBPD Cruiser speeding down hill after us. We were obeying all posted speed limits at the time. Lights go on, we pull right over. Low and behold it was a FULL-ON Feloney Stop. We did all the jazz posted above. So It's my turn to get out, I tell the Cops I have a dog in there, they say nothing. My Shih-Tzu leaps out on to the road running right at the cops!!!! She of course licked them to death,the situation was calm and after I showed them the paperwork I was Code 4. They were bored had a vauge discription on a stolen white car (so they said) but we still filed a complaint anyway just to make sure. It Friggen Scary !
14 posted on 01/03/2003 4:47:10 PM PST by cmsgop
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To: AdamSelene235
Hey Claire,

Is it still to soon to shoot the bastards?

15 posted on 01/03/2003 4:48:16 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: Mulder
I wonder if any of the officers will face murder charges for killing this family's dog?

My guess would be two weeks paid suspension.

16 posted on 01/03/2003 4:48:23 PM PST by ActionNewsBill
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To: BlackbirdSST; Bella_Bru
Lucky it wasn't one or more of them, given the thuggery via "Law Enforcement" these day's. Sue 'em! Sue 'em big! Blackbird.

Problem is, you and I have to pay the bill for the suit. They need to be held personally responsible. Maybe privately so....

One of FR's rabid wod Goons is a NC cop. Wonder if it was him.

17 posted on 01/03/2003 4:50:12 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: DAnconia55
Eventually we will get past this awkward age.
18 posted on 01/03/2003 4:50:43 PM PST by AdamSelene235
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To: DAnconia55
Sounds like an average day's rousting in the inner city. Welcome to America, Mr. Smoaks.
19 posted on 01/03/2003 4:50:48 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: DAnconia55
Like rabid dogs, baby. Lots of hogs in NC...
20 posted on 01/03/2003 4:52:05 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: DAnconia55
Is it still to soon to shoot the bastards?

Not yet, but it's getting closer each day.

21 posted on 01/03/2003 4:53:48 PM PST by ActionNewsBill
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To: Copernicus
fatass underpaid powerlusting nazis, authorized to use deadly force, with the sword of the state cristening their actions......WHO KNEW????

This, is the essence of tryanny.

Do you all think you are free? Check your premise, flunkies.

22 posted on 01/03/2003 4:54:12 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: Jhoffa_; Ramius
Outrageous!

OK JHoffa, THIS is jackboots in action. I do have a limit to my forgiveness of cops! Cops have a hard job, but they have to be able to do the job without this.

Get them off the force, and hope the people don't sue.
23 posted on 01/03/2003 4:56:32 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: DAnconia55
It is strange, isn't it? When the blacks talk about THE VERY SAME THING, many like to ridicule their claims of police brutality. And then the police wonder why they cannot get traction in black neighborhoods when attempting to solve crimes, or why they get their brains blown across a parking lot by "suspects at large", and then why the police are afraid to enter the same neighborhoods.
24 posted on 01/03/2003 4:57:36 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: galt-jw
It is strange, isn't it? When the blacks talk about THE VERY SAME THING, many like to ridicule their claims of police brutality.

I don't. You don't. Not all of us do.

tick...tick....tick....

25 posted on 01/03/2003 4:59:37 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: HairOfTheDog
I do have a limit to my forgiveness of cops!

That's nice. It's too damn late, now. Thanks for making all this possible!

Who needs to understand absolutes, when you can wrap yourself in emotion?

26 posted on 01/03/2003 4:59:50 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: EggsAckley
"How could they be so stupid?"

Up here in the North, we have a stereotype of the southern cop.
I always thought it was just North vs: South rivalry all in fun. Now I am not so sure.

Suffice it to say you know you are in the south when upon being pulled over, a fat cop sidles up to the window, hands you the ticket book and a pencil and says "Okay boy, now write what I tell ya'"

Nik
27 posted on 01/03/2003 4:59:52 PM PST by Nik Naym
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To: DAnconia55
you betcha. thus the term: "many."
28 posted on 01/03/2003 5:00:54 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: ActionNewsBill
Oh my....I used to live in Cookeville. This is terrible. If there was ever a case for compensation this is it.
29 posted on 01/03/2003 5:01:20 PM PST by WVNan
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To: Nik Naym
Hey there... :)
30 posted on 01/03/2003 5:03:07 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: galt-jw
You don't know me well enough to flame me, sir. I made a comment to someone else who will understand what I mean when I say that.

Settle down! Stop screeching at everyone. I am not the one who is not in control of her emotions.
31 posted on 01/03/2003 5:04:50 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: viligantcitizen
" Sometimes, otherwise law abiding people are forced to obtain justice outside the courtroom."

I'm afraid you might be right.

A question that will one day need to be answered someday... What if you are an inocent citizen and your life and/or the life of your family is being threatened by LEOs. Do you have the right to protect your self?

It seems to me that police are probably more likely to behave in a criminal manner than the average citizen.
32 posted on 01/03/2003 5:07:07 PM PST by babygene
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To: WVNan
Oh my....I used to live in Cookeville. This is terrible. If there was ever a case for compensation this is it.

Problem is compensation only hurts innocent tax payers. These cops need to be fired and jailed.

Too often cops only get a paid vacation while an "investigation" eventually clears them, even when innocent people end up dead. (Though there are times when deadly force is necessary, too often police suffer no consequences for actions which would be serious crimes if committed by a citizen.)

33 posted on 01/03/2003 5:08:05 PM PST by NEPA
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To: babygene
A question that will one day need to be answered someday... What if you are an inocent citizen and your life and/or the life of your family is being threatened by LEOs. Do you have the right to protect your self?

Yes.

34 posted on 01/03/2003 5:08:33 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: Eagle Eye
"Hope they collect.."

This is Cookeville, TN. It's the good-ole-boy, redneck capital of the world. An hour-and-a-half from Nashville and a million miles from the rest of the world. These people won't get a dime.

35 posted on 01/03/2003 5:09:10 PM PST by hoosierskypilot
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To: DAnconia55
"They need to be held personally responsible. Maybe privately so...."

"They" can "be held personally responsible."

Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21 (1991) — State officers may be held personally liable for damages based upon actions taken in their official capacities.

36 posted on 01/03/2003 5:09:12 PM PST by tahiti
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To: galt-jw
Although the race of the victims is not given, I think we can assume they were not Black.

If they were this would already be national news, reported every few minutes with interviews of various outraged Black leaders.

37 posted on 01/03/2003 5:11:23 PM PST by yarddog
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To: babygene
What if you are an inocent citizen and your life and/or the life of your family is being threatened by LEOs. Do you have the right to protect your self?

I worry about citizens falling into that trap... especially in "no knock" home raids. The police are more and more often wearing black t-shirts and baseball caps instead of uniforms, and if they come rushing into my house at night, by mistake, shouting unintelligible orders at me and jumping around, I would be afraid I would shoot. If I got the chance. They don't look or act like cops anymore.

38 posted on 01/03/2003 5:12:02 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: tahiti
That's a start. $10,000,000 against each officer. And $150,000,000 against the city.

Bankrupt them so bad that the local town citizens hunt these cops down and string them up.

39 posted on 01/03/2003 5:12:44 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: tahiti
Trouble is, their damage is not monetary. The value of any adult pet dog is next to nothing. They can argue emotional distress, but money won't fix that. I hope they don't sue, but I do hope they fire these cops.
40 posted on 01/03/2003 5:14:58 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: HairOfTheDog
Honey, I don't know you any better than you know me. The response I made to you was from a quote YOU made. And, in the context you presented it, as something that you conceded, as in "OK JHoffa, THIS is jackboots in action. I do have a limit to my forgiveness of cops! ."

Apparently, you have had a difficulty in identifying jackboots, from the statement YOU made. Apparently, you have been apologetic to cops, and now you admit a "limit." How noble!

At least it was the dogs that were shot. You seem to be able to understand the inhumanity of that. Were the humans gunned down, as happens every day, you apparently would side with the cops, after they gave the "official" story, as they always do.

I do have a limit to my forgiveness of cops!

You said it. The very statement implies that you are an apologist for cop behavior.

Congratulations on this stunning, crystalline epiphany.

41 posted on 01/03/2003 5:16:19 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: Copernicus
The Index has been copied and expanded (with examples) for training the pathologically illogical.
42 posted on 01/03/2003 5:22:28 PM PST by IronJack
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To: Copernicus
The ordeal went on for a time after that, the family terrified and in grief over the dog.

Finally, after a time, someone in authority figured out that the officers here had stopped and were holding the very family that someone in Davidson County had assumed had been robbed, though how that assumption grew to the authorization for a felony stop, James Smoak cannot understand, he said today. "Finally, they asked me my name and I told them my name, date of birth, and other information, and they talked by radio to someone in Davidson County and finally realized that a mistake had been made," he said.

"A lady in Davidson County had seen that wallet fly off our car and had seen money coming out of it and going all over the road, and somehow that became a felony and they made a felony stop, but no robbery or felony had happened," Pamela Smoak said.

"Apparently, they had listened to some citizen with a cell phone and let her play detective down there," said James Smoak.

"Here we are just a family on vacation, and we had to suffer this."

When the officers did discover the mistake, "they said, 'Okay, we're releasing you and we're sorry,'" Smoak said.

As soon as Brandon was released from the handcuffs, he rushed over to the dead dog and began to cry, Smoak said.

And that's when one of the most infuriating parts of the ordeal happened, according to James Smoak.

"I saw one of the THP officers walk over to the city officer who had shot the dog and grin," he said.

He reported that to the supervising officer, THP Lt. Jerry Andrews, and Andrews "was very nice, very professional," Smoak said.

"He told me the officer was not laughing, but I know he was," said Smoak.

43 posted on 01/03/2003 5:23:08 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: IronJack
The Index has been copied and expanded (with examples) for training the pathologically illogical.

Really? Where? I'll start using that version instead!

Best regards,

44 posted on 01/03/2003 5:25:16 PM PST by Copernicus
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To: galt-jw
I mean what I said.

I support good law enforcement and I have been on threads, with Mr. JHoffa, where I defended the actions of law enforcement in the circumstances on those threads.

I will give a policeman a lot of the benefit of the doubt. I am pro law-enforcement, which used to be a position of all good conservatives.

Unfortunately, there are some among us who now just bash cops.

You want to blame all cops for this, which I find to be not only ridiculous, but unhelpful. Get the bad cops out, but when you paint them all with the same brush, you marginalize yourself. I am not going to listen to the suggestions of a cop hater on how to solve this problem.

Nor am I the deserving recipient of your tantrum. This is my free time. I am not here to be ranted at by you.
45 posted on 01/03/2003 5:26:21 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: HairOfTheDog; galt-jw
I am not here to be ranted at by you.

I can almost picture the jackboots galt-jw was wearing thoughout that rant.

---

Flyer

Houston Area Texans

46 posted on 01/03/2003 5:32:24 PM PST by Flyer
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To: All
This family should be glad that they are helping to save Amerika from the terrorist!

It's the least they can do for the Father-Homeland Security agents...

The Patriot Act made it possible for these heroes of the republic (the ones who mercy killed this families dog) to come into your home in the middle of the night without knocking to see if your wife and children are sleeping soundly.

Amerika; Land of the sleaze, Home of the knave.
47 posted on 01/03/2003 5:41:19 PM PST by TaZ
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To: HairOfTheDog
You want to blame all cops for this, which I find to be not only ridiculous, but unhelpful.

Of course, if you could read, you would have not made such an innane statement.

Posting pictures of your doggy really shows that you are so very serious.

Perhaps the next time you could leave the post blank. This could be a representation of your intellect.

48 posted on 01/03/2003 5:42:27 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: galt-jw; Flyer
Posting pictures of your doggy really shows that you are so very serious.

sorry bout that.

The difference between you and flyer is difficult to divine.

Both of you use straw man argumentation.

At least you have the dignity to appear other than a grade school student who affixes cuddly images of animals to their arguments to impress other subjectivist emotio-cognitive drones.

49 posted on 01/03/2003 5:46:08 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: Flyer
Posting pictures of your doggy really shows that you are so very serious.

Perhaps the next time you could leave the post blank. This could be a representation of your intellect.

This was meant for you, tippy.

You made a doggy! And that without finger paint. Bravo!

50 posted on 01/03/2003 5:47:54 PM PST by galt-jw
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