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No Independence for Missouri Gators as Police Take Down Lawn Ornament

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by copythat

copythat's picture
In The News

Lawn ornaments and cops don't mix. A Missouri gator by a Kansas City pond gets shot by a rifle -- pumped with two deadly rounds. The dangerous garden statue lives, slightly worse for the wear.
One shot was apparently not enough -- the genius shot off a second round before someone finally realized maybe the "animal" wasn't alive. It's a bit hard to gauge why the cop was shooting at what police thought was a live alligator, to begin with: Police departments often try to figure out a plan to round up, and truss up, alligators for relocation through animal control or other services. Not Independence, Missouri. At least one local police officer shoots first -- and asks gators any questions later.
It's a gun-toting scene that may be more expected in a region like Texas -- minus the gator.
According to Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry: "They [Independence police] inched up closer and closer and discovered it was a mock-up of a real alligator made to look like it was real."
Those damn mock-ups. It's all their fault -- sneaking around like they're real gators.
The police first became involved after receiving a phone tip from a guy who says either he or his kids saw a gator. That "alligator" was hanging out by some weeds near a tree -- and it was very, very still.
Supposedly police had first consulted with a conservation agent -- who told them to kill the gator if the cops felt it posed a danger. It seems an unmoving statue throws off an awfully dangerous vibe. The situation apparently required no less than three cops, one trigger-happy one.
Perhaps there's very good reason some people should not be carrying guns -- and, more specifically, not rifles that allow for a long shot.
Independence police seem to have every reason under the sun for the error including one that actually involves the sun: it was growing dark, surrounded by weeds, and one hell of a "mock-up" apparently.
The landowner says he put the fake gator there to keep children off his property. Apparently that concept doesn't work in any instance like cops looking for target practice.
Ranking at the top of the list, however, is a "wild animial" incident in England.
British police received reports of a rare, white tiger that had been spotted in a field. Reports of the endangered animal sighting ended up putting a cricket match on temporary hiatus and also causing golfers to be physically escorted from a local golf course.
Police made all the arrangements. They called up zoo staff with tranquilizer guns, and even called a police helicopter from another county -- all to investigate the "white tiger" on the loose.
As it turned out, the helicopter may have been the best call: police finally realizing it was "obvious...[the reported white tiger] was a stuffed life-size toy" -- after a downdraft from an overhead chopper blew the "tiger" over.



Independence Police Department - Missouri (MI)
223 N. Memorial Drive
Independence , MO 64050-3013
United States
Phone: (816) 325-7300
Fax: (816) 325-7270
39° 5' 35.7108" N, 94° 24' 45.8748" W
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