Free Markets, Free People
Feds drop charges against man who defended his children against grizzly bear
You may remember the story from last week about the Idaho man who shot and killed a grizzly bear in his yard because he feared it would injure or kill his children (also somewhere in the yard). He reported the killing to fish and wildlife officials and that’s when his troubles began. Although the local and regional fish and wildlife people recommended no charges based on their investigation (they considered it a justified kill), federal officials decided to proceed, leveling federal misdemeanor charges against Jeremy Hill.
There was an outcry not only from the local population, but on blogs all across the land. It put the spotlight on the story and pressure on the U.S. Attorney’s Office to justify their decision. Obviously, they couldn’t. So, assuming a face-saving ploy, they’ve decided they’ll simply reduce the charges to a “citation” and a fine Hill $1,000.
Becky Kramer, writing for the Coeur d’Alene Spokesman-Review tells us the story:
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has dropped misdemeanor charges against a Porthill, Idaho, man who shot and killed a grizzly bear in his yard.
Instead, Jeremy M. Hill was issued a citation for the May 8 shooting of the male grizzly, and paid a $1,000 fine.
A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that state and federal wildlife officials were unable to establish the location of Hill’s children when three grizzly bears were first sighted in the yard, about forty yards from the Hill home. Hill told law enforcement officers that he last saw his children outside playing basketball in front of their home, but that he didn’t know where his children were when he saw the three grizzly bears near his pig pen. The two other bears ran off after Hill shot the 2-year-old male.
U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said that dismissal of the criminal charge was based in part on Hill’s prompt notification of the shooting to Idaho Fish & Game officials.
“The United States Attorney’s Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family,” said Olson. “Anyone who observes or hears of a grizzly bear near campsites or residences must immediately contact fish and wildlife officials.”
If that last bit of drivel isn’t a laugh I don’t know what is. He was charged by the feds after he notified the proper authorities. It wasn’t his “prompt notification” which caused the U.S. Attorney to drop the charges, it was public outcry and them looking like asses. The man should never have been charged in the first place as the fish and wildlife officials in the area recommended. And now they want to paper it over with the nonsense above after Hill has had to go to the time and expense of defending himself.
In reality, he’d have been much better off not notifying the authorities, but instead quietly disposing of the remains instead. And the authorities know it. Thus the fabricated reason for dropping the charges.