A Minnesota woman has filed a complaint against an Atwater policeman who killed one of her son’s chickens and left its head in her backyard last month.
Police Chief Trevor Berger went onto the property of Ashley Turnbull when no one was home in late August, a week after police alerted the local woman that the chickens and ducks she owned violated city laws, according to twincities.com.
Berger reportedly clubbed and then decapitated a hen Turnbull owned with a shovel before dragging its body away.
Five-year-old Phoenix Turner, Ashley Turner’s son, had gotten the chickens and hens as a birthday gift and had played with them often.
"The chicken was like a puppy dog to my son," she said. "You wouldn't do that to a puppy."
Berger said he thinks that his actions were justified and that he was merely enforcing the law by decapitating the hen. He added that he acted in light of neighbors’ complaints against the animals remaining on Turner’s property.
"I'm sorry it had to happen that way," Berger said. "It's against city ordinance for a chicken to be in the city and running around in people's yards," he added.
Though Turner said she is aware of the ordinance she was breaking, she still believes that Berger did not act appropriately or professionally.
"I still feel he owes my son an apology and he owes us a chicken, she said.
Owning chickens in Atwater has been a popular topic of discussion in the area recently, with a proposal for chickens to be allowed in the city in the works.
Berger said he intends to present an ordinance in favor of letting chickens on city property, despite this incident.