A Utah resident has just been told that he must pay up if he wants to sue the police officer who gunned down his down.
Sean Kendall’s dog, Geist, was shot and killed by a Salt Lake City cop who was searching for a missing child last year.
Neither Kendall, nor Geist had anything to do with that missing child. But that didn’t protect the dog from the trigger-happy officer.
Salt Lake city officials eventually offered Kendall a $10,000 settlement, after public outrage began to mount about the canine killing.
Kendall rejected the offer, saying: “It would be like, ‘For $10,000 you can break into my backyard and kill my dog.’ That’s not right.”
He said he wants to sue the officer who actually pulled the trigger, not just receive hush money from the city. But now his attorneys have been informed that if he wants to sue the police officer, he will need a lot more than $10,000.
That’s because Utah law requires anyone who wishes to sue a police officer to pay their court expenses up front. The citizen is only reimbursed for those court costs if they win the case. This makes it virtually impossible to sue a police officer in the State of Utah, no matter what they have done.
Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is Kendall’s attorney. He says that this bizarre requirement “severely undermines the rule of law, while letting abusive law-enforcement officers off the hook for their violations of the state constitution and other state legal protections.”
He is now awaiting a court ruling as to whether these legal fees are in fact to be deemed unconstitutional.