Saturday, January 18, 2003

Truer Words Never Spoken

A veteran Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher, Shannon Pickard, has received a written reprimand and eight hours of crisis management training for his role in events leading to the police shooting of a North Carolina family's dog.


State Sen. John Ford, D-Memphis, was more blunt. ''THP, you fire them. Cookeville police, you fire them,'' Ford said, referring to the officers who made the traffic stop.

''I'm going to lay it down on the line. Thank God you weren't black. They would have shot you,'' Ford told James and Pamela Smoak, who attended the hearing but made no official statements. The husband and wife cried when the videotape of the dog's shooting was shown to the senators.