Indigo Insights

Friday, January 10, 2003


I was wrong about being coherent. After reading about the horrible Tennessee incident over the last few days, outrage and anger have pretty much taken over reason and coherence in me. Thanks to Misha for the latest input on this tragedy. Follow the links from here to read the comments from across the nation. Then for a voice of reason, please read the editorial below by Gayle D. Calabrese from Tennessee.

From: "Gayle Calabrese"
To: The Tennessean
Date: Thu, January 9, 2003 8:15 pm
Subject: Cookville Corruption

Are you aware of any way people can make contributions to the Smoaks family whose canine family member was killed by Officer Hall in Cookeville, TN? Because I was raised in TN as the daughter of a police officer, as well as mother of a police officer; - have raised various canine breeds throughout my life ; -am involved with different animal rescue groups; and known for writings about dogs,etc. I've had several people ask me about how we can help them with any possible litigation. Can you direct us to how to get contributions and/or letters/cards of support to the family?

The favor of a reply is greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

Gayle D. Calabrese [ I have pasted below a copy of the editorial submitted to the Tennessean]


The senselessness of the recent killing of a dog belonging to a NC family by a Cookeville Policeman is obvious. My father was a retired police officer from Hamilton Co. TN. My son was on the Athens/Clarke Co. GA police department for 6 yrs+ before working with family services. The violations against this family are also violations against every honest, kind, decent, and honorable law enforcement officer and their families, least of all anyone who ever loved a dog, or was lucky enough to have one love them back.

Judging from the video clip, it doesn't appear as if the other police officers who arrived first, could have stopped Officer Eric Hall from firing the gun.Officer Hall should be punished severely and never be allowed to work in law enforcement regardless of the findings on any report initiated by a jaded internal affairs investigation. Has Officer Hall ever seen a dog up close before? Clearly, Patton, the Smoak's furry family member killed by Officer Hall was just happy to get out of the car, as are all dogs on a family trip. There is nothing that can be seen as threatening to Officer Hall,or anyone else. The If the "Gucci Law" was in force in Tennessee then the officer could be charged with a felony. A defense attorney will have to get a jury from China, where dogs are eaten, if one is needed for any resulting case .

No doubt that this hideous crime could have been worse if the trigger happy officer had encountered someone with a handicap that might have prevented them from being as co-operative as were the Smoaks, as actions most likely would have been viewed as erroneously as he viewed those of a playful, "freed" canine companion. Perhaps, it would be a good idea for police officers to borrow a medical service motto, "FIRST, do no harm."

The image to the world provided by these crimes against the Smoak family sets the American South back to re-construction! What have our children learned regarding this killing of a family pet? Where is the explanation? Who takes the place of police officers as "safe" people for them? What can we tell our children? The majority of my family lives in Tennessee. Are we safe to drive there to visit? Clearly, our canine family members are not! -----Gayle Dover Calabrese