Officer's questionable judgment

March 19, 2014 

Brangers

The owner of a dog that was shot and killed by a Lexington police officer decided not to pursue criminal charges, but that should have no bearing on an internal investigation into Officer Jeff Brangers' off-duty action.

It's hardly surprising that the owner of the 12-year-old black Labrador retriever would be reluctant to pursue criminal charges against his trigger-happy next-door neighbor.

Brangers, who lives in Scott County and joined the Lexington police force in 2012, told authorities that he thought the dog was a threat to his chickens.

But he also told authorities that the dog, whose owner also keeps chickens, was walking away from him when he shot it.

Even if Brangers' action was technically within state law protecting livestock, his decision to shoot a neighbor's pet showed questionable judgment to say the least. Reasonable people will wonder about his fitness to police human interactions in Lexington-Fayette County.

Chief Ronnie Bastin and the Internal Affairs Section should take this incident and their response to it very seriously.

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