A police officer who was fired after being filmed repeatedly kicking his State Highway Patrol dog in September of 2007 is likely being reinstated – with full back pay. The North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed with prior State Personnel Commission and trial court rulings that Sgt. Charles Jones was unfairly dismissed, and ruled that he should be reinstated with back pay.
Jones was fired after the video below was turned over to the Highway Patrol. Jones claimed that he was simply ‘training’ Ricoh to obey commands. The department’s director of internal affairs agreed, but once the governor’s office saw the video, they had Jones fired.
The 12-year veteran of the patrol can be seen in the video below kicking Ricoh repeatedly after lynching him. Ricoh hangs by his leash, with only his hind legs touching the ground as Jones kicks him at least five times, each time seemingly harder than the next.
Jack O’Hale, Jones’ lawyer, said that Ricoh was simply being ‘disciplined’ in the manner in which Jones had been trained. “These Highway Patrol canines are not house pets,” O’Hale said. “They are living, breathing weapons with teeth.”
In yesterday’s ruling, the court said that the decision in Jones’ case was made “not by the Patrol’s disciplinary process but by an outside entity whose purpose was not a fair and equitable treatment of Sergeant Jones.” The State Supreme court will have to review the decision, but legal experts say there is little likelihood that it will be overturned.
Fortunately, Ricoh was not injured badly in the incident. He has since been retired from service.