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Police and Law Enforcement Home    >    Editorials    >    Giving Killer of Police Dog Rehab a Disgrace


Police and
Law Enforcement News




Giving Killer of Police
Dog Rehab a Disgrace
Police and Law Enforcement News
Monday, January 28, 2013  9:33 p.m.


New Jersey failed its law enforcement community, once again. 

The state of no searches, parole for cop killers, and breached contracts can add another bullet to its resume of flops: rehab for criminals who kill police dogs.

On November 30, 2010, Street Animal Skyler Robinson, 22, allegedly, thought it would be a good idea to commit a robbery of a Chinese restaurant in Gloucester Township. 

He and an accomplice got away with $300.  During the crime, Robinsonís cowardly accomplice, reportedly, punched a restaurant employee in the face.

Gloucester Township Officer Cpl. Mark Pickard arrived on the scene with his K-9 partner Shultz.  The two gave chase and Cpl. Pickard ordered the suspect to stop, threatening to release his police dog.

Robinson kept running.

According to the South Jersey Times:

He [Cpl. Pickard] released Schultz, who eventually caught Robinson. The accused allegedly punched the dog in the head, forcing him to release his grip. But the K-9 caught him again.

Robinson swung Schultz in the path of traffic during the struggle, police said. Both were struck by a car, and Robinson fled. But Schultz was hit by at least three more vehicles, police reported, and was found in a grass median.

The 3-year-old German Shepherd died at the scene. 

In court last week, Robinsonís attorney filed application for drug treatment instead of prison pursuant to a new law that went into effect January 19.   Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown granted this request.

This disgraceful perversion of justice is an embarrassment to the New Jersey court system and an insult to the concept of law and order.  It is an affront to New Jersey law enforcement and a slap in the face to Schultz's handler and partner, Cpl. Mark Pickard.

It seems that we have trailed so far away from justice that we no longer recognize its absence.  We invent law after law allowing bad people to elude consequence and depriving good people of their moment in court.

Simply, there is no scenario that should allow rehab for a man charged with robbing a restaurant and killing a police dog. 

Some people have to go to jail.  Men who commit violent robberies of restaurants belong in jail.  Men who run from the police and kill police dogs belong in jail. 

Anything less insults the concept of rule of law.

Robbery was designated a second-degree offense because it is viewed as one of the most serious of all crimes.  Using force to take what others have earned should be considered serious.

But then our legislature enacts a law allowing certain people who commit second-degree crimes to avoid incarceration.  Well, then, why didn't we just make Robbery a third-degree crime? 

Below the surface of this repulsive incident is a bizarre back story.

The killing of K-9 Shultz prompted New Jersey legislators to enact a new law (2C:29-3.1) in 2011 aptly named Schultzís Law.  It enhanced the penalties for criminals found guilty of killing police dogs and mandated a minimum five-year prison term, with no eligibility for parole, and a $15,000 fine.

But the same legislature then created another law in 2012 (Bill S881, now 2C:35-14) allowing certain defendants to escape penalties such as the one they just created in Shultz's law.  Preposterous!

If weíre not going to protect these special animals from garbage like Skyler Robinson, we should abolish the use of police dogs in New Jersey altogether.  Itís unfair fair to put them in danger day after day and not allow them to benefit from the protection of law.

We cannot allow fleeing felons to kill police dogs and evade prison time.  We canít allow it.  Handlers should pull the dogs off the line if this is going to happen.

If a building such as the Camden County Courthouse should ever have a bomb scare, let Judge Brown take off his robe and start searching. 

What a moment it would be for every K-9 officer, dog lover and human being who appreciates justice from New Jersey and beyond descended on the Camden County courthouse for a few hours to make mass statement on how the rest of us feel about police dogs and making people pay for their crimes.  (Should any individual or group consider this, please contact us to help spread the word)

On the day of this incident, a very painful chapter was opened in the life of Shultz's partner, Cpl. Mark Pickard, and the Gloucester Township Police Department.

The closing of that chapter was suppose to be the day they stood in a courtroom and listened as a judge removed this filth from society for five years.

They were robbed of that moment by a system that seems to be swinging more and more in favor of those who reject our laws and away from those who uphold them.

Perhaps a New Jersey legislator will step up and eliminate this loophole, at least for killing law enforcement animals.  We hope, but we're not holding our breath.

Please help spread the word on this miscarriage of justice.  We'll even allow free reprints of this editorial by clicking here.

Use the scroll box below to share your thoughts.










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