Police asking for help finding suspects after bald eagle ‘intentionally shot’, officers forced to euthanize it

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MO – The Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed that a bald eagle that was shot earlier in February had to be euthanized due to the severity of the animal’s sustained injuries.

Now, officials with the Missouri Department of Conservation are reaching out to the public and are asking for any tips that can help investigators in identifying the person or persons responsible for the shooting of the bald eagle.

On February 5th, the U.S. Forest Service Office in Potosi had contacted the MCD’s conservation agent Jaymes Hall about an injured bald eagle that was located near Belgrade in the southern part of Washington County.

Agent Hall responded to the area where he’d happened upon the injured bird lying in a field near a nest, not far from the bird’s mate. The conservation agent was able to capture the injured bird and bring it in for treatment at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis County.

While under the facility’s care, the team attempted to operate on the bald eagle in an effort to alleviate the bird if it’s injuries – however, the MDC confirmed that the injuries were just too much for the bald eagle:

“Those injuries were too extensive however, and the bird did not survive.”

The severity of the bone and tissue damage on the bird left the team with no other option than to euthanize the bald eagle.

Officials suspect that the bird may have been shot sometime around February 3rd or 4th and are asking for the public’s assistance in providing information that can lead authorities to a suspect.

With the bald eagle being listed as a protected species, shooting said bird is both a felony in the state of Missouri and also a federal offense.

Anyone with information on the matter is urged to contact the MDC’s Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-392-1111. Tipsters can remain anonymous when contacting the hotline. A cash reward is available for tips that lead to an arrest.

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LET Unity

In other news related to Missouri, a newly proposed bill within the state would afford new expansions with which individuals could enact deadly force in an effort to protect life and property. 

Here’s that previous report. 


JEFFERSON CITY, MO – A new bill proposed in Missouri is taking a stand against the political violence that has raged against the country by allowing deadly force against protesters on private property and allowing drivers to hit demonstrators blocking traffic.

The proposed bill was introduced as Senate Bill 66 by Sen. Rick Brattin:

“To think that your right to protest enables you the right to stop traffic and literally stop people’s ability to move about freely in this nation is a gross misunderstanding of our constitutional rights.”

He pointed out that stopping traffic during protests can be dangerous if EMS and fire departments are blocked from responding to emergencies.

The bill addresses liability for motor vehicle drivers during a protest:

“A person operating a motor vehicle shall not be liable for injuries to another person who blocks traffic if such person was exercising due care and was not grossly negligent.”

Brattin clarified that the section should not be taken out of context. He said the provision would provide protection if the driver were being attacked, held hostage, or is forced out of a car:

“This is if you have an imminent threat against your life. Somebody standing in the roadway keeping you from going down the street is not an imminent threat to your life.

“It will be like the stand your ground provision is going to be forwarded to someone in a vehicle to where you feel your life is in jeopardy and peril, and the well-being of the people in your family and your car is in imminent danger, that gives you the ability to get out of that situation.”

The act would also provide protection for the use of force against protesters, including deadly force:

“A person may use deadly force against another person if such force is used against a person who is participating in an unlawful assembly and unlawfully enters or attempts to enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual.”

Brattin said that people should not have to live in fear just because others decided to protest.

“People can’t even go have a nice meal without being harassed, run out. I wanted to ensure that people are able to go and enjoy their freedoms and liberties just like anyone else should be able to.”

The bill also proposes a penalty for political subdivisions that attempt to defund their police agency. Any political subdivision that reduces its police budget by more than 12% over other budget items would automatically be ineligible to receive state funds.

Not only does the bill give victims of protest violence expanded rights, but it also goes after violent protesters. The act creates a Class C felony charge for any person convicted of rioting who caused property damage in excess of $750. 

Also proposed in the bill is a new Class E felony charge of” Conspiring to Riot.” This charge is appropriate for anyone who knowingly provides payments or other financial incentives to six or more people to get them to violate Missouri laws against rioting or unlawful assembly.

The already existing statute against institutional vandalism would be amended to include a Class B felony if the actor knowingly vandalizes any public monument or structure on public property.

Any protester who commits a crime of violence against a first responder would be ineligible for bail, probation, or parole under this bill:

“Anyone convicted of second- or third-degree assault, unlawful traffic interference, rioting, conspiring with others to cause a riot, or institutional vandalism, where the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical provider who was assaulted during the performance of his or her official duties or as a direct result of such official duties, shall be ineligible for bail or continuation of bail.

“Additionally, anyone found guilty of first-, second-, or third-degree assault is ineligible for probation or parole if the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical provider who was assaulted during the performance of his or her official duties or as a direct result of such official duties.”

Government employees would have enhanced penalties for participating in an unlawful assembly. The act would require that any employee of any political subdivision or of the State be ineligible for employment benefits if convicted of participating in an unlawful assembly.

Opponents of the bill say the provisions go too far and threaten rights to assemble and protest.

Black Lives Matter protest organizer Larry Flenoid told KY3 News that the proposed bill is a “blatant” attempt to silence dissent:

“That’s what this is, it’s a blatant I don’t care. They’re trying to suppress our voices. Not only are you trying to suppress our rights, but you’re stripping our rights at the same time. People who have a reason to protest, our gay community, you know the black community, the poor community, everybody who feels like their rights is being taken away from them.

This deters our way of having our voices heard because now you’re trying to scare us by telling us you’re going to allow our own community members to run us down.”

Flenoid said that an especially concerning part of the bill is the provision that gives the right to use deadly force against protesters:

“Because you are basically giving community members the use of deadly force against other community members when it’s supposed to be the police’s job to enforce the law and control things like that.”

Flenoid, who organized a large protest in Springfield over the summer, said that coordinating with police is a better solution than giving citizens the right to use deadly force and driving over protesters:

“We did coordinate with police and gave them a route we were going to march, and they blocked everything off. They kept all the community members safe. There were no problems. Nobody tried to break through lines. It went off without a hitch.”

Brattin counters that the police may not always be present when protection is needed and that protecting emergency responses is the target of the traffic-block provisions:

“I would say if you’re driving, you’re driving your wife to the hospital who is having a massive heart attack in your front seat to the hospital, and people are obstructing the view, I would say it would error on the side of the law that you would have the right to do whatever you had to do to save your loved one’s life.”

Missouri civil rights leader Rev. Darryl Gray denounced Brattin’s bill, saying that it would criminalize and “vilify” non-violent protesters. The Missionary Baptist State Convention of Missouri reverend told KMKC:

“I’m a product of the Civil Rights Movement. Just last week, we honored the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy. There are those who didn’t agree with many of his methods of protest, but it was those same methods that changed this country for the better.

“Those same methods that you seek to criminalize are the same methods that helped to destroy Jim Crow laws, segregation and destroyed centuries of hatred and bigotry.”

Rev. Gray argued that the bill would include placing property over lives:

“For God’s sake, authorizing the use of deadly force by non-law enforcement people is creating a recipe for disaster by giving permission to commit bodily harm or even taking a life. We believe that human life is more sacred than property.”

The Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet scheduled a vote on the bill.


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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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