Chicken Thieves: Police Confiscate Poultry & Destroy Them; No Charges Filed

For some reason the New Bern police decided that a guy with a lot of chicken and roosters must be engaged in illegal cockfighting. That is how it looks from this news story anyway. They were serving a drug warrant and then took almost sixty chickens and roosters “as part of an investigation.”

The owner was never charged, and he never got his property returned to him.

Copblock reports:

The station reports officers also seized training muffs, a vest, syringes and antibiotics [in addition to poultry].

Byrd told the station in January that he hadn’t done anything wrong. “They’re show birds,” he said. “I show them at the fair.” He also explained that the muffs were used for breeding and the vest was actually a beer holder.

Earlier this month, the station reported that District Attorney Scott Thomas said there was not enough evidence to charge Byrd and he gave the go-ahead for the chickens to be returned, passing the buck to Animal Control.

“They were my pets,” he said. “The birds mean everything to me.”

Before he could get them back, some of the birds allegedly contracted “a contagious disease.” Some died. The rest were killed by the county government.

Scott Harrelson, county health director, said that the chickens were already sick when they were taken into custody, but Byrd denies that claim.

Byrd is requesting $50,000 in damages, for the birds and the cages that were ripped open during the raid.

The station reports that a police spokesperson says there is no plan to compensate Byrd for his losses.

As Copblock points out, no matter who is at fault, the police or animal control, the taxpayers are the ones on the hook. The police are given the luxury of risk-free raids and risk-free property seizures. When they take property for no justifiable cause, and some victimized citizen manages to take them to court and win, only the taxpayers are billed to compensate that victim.



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  • Jim

    If the warrant was issued to search for drugs, even if they could prove the birds were for fighting, it would be thrown out of court. He wasn’t charged, they weren’t on his property looking for illegal birds or cockfighting evidence, so they should have been off limits. Maybe they could get another warrant based on what they saw, but I’m not sure how that actually works. He should file charges of felony theft against each individual officer involved and sue the department for damages and for failure to properly train their officers on how to legally comply with a search warrant.

  • Phil

    You don’t seem to get it!!!!! The police, animal control etc., any and all government agencies have been conducting themselves in this manner. They are practicing. I believe very soon this kind of behavior will be more common place. when the State and local governments get more power they will use it…look at the other governments and the way they treat their subjects? This is the way it is going. Our police have been militarized, they show up with full military gear.
    Wake Up America!!!!

  • Phil

    We the people…….means all the people should be united. Put your labels aside and come together as Americans. America represents all races, all religions of the world and this Republic should be left for the next generations.