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Continued: Atwater police chief's killing of pet chicken stirs outrage

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 2, 2014 - 11:36 PM

Neighbor Dick Rierson had complained before to the City Council that the pen was filthy, passing around photos. His wife alerted the police to the hen on the loose, the police report shows.

“You want rats in your neighborhood?” Rierson said Tuesday by phone. “That’s what happens if you don’t keep [the coop] clean.”

Rierson believes Berger did the right thing, he said, because police have a duty to enforce the city’s ordinances.

“He didn’t really have a choice,” he said. “It sounds like he tried to do his job and did it as best as he could.

“Have you ever tried to catch a chicken?”

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168

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  • Phoenix Turnbull, 5, holds one of his pet chickens in his family’s back yard in Atwater. The town’s police chief killed one of the boy’s chickens in August. “I came home to find the chicken’s head lying in front of its coop,” Turnbull’s mother said.

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