Sergeant Allen Cockfield of the Miami-Dade Police Department was recently charged with felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly kicking his K-9 partner Duke to death during an obedience training exercise with more than a dozen other police dogs and trainers present. The reason, according to an anonymous witness: Duke barked when he wasn't supposed to, so Cockfield hoisted the four-year-old German shepherd by the leash around his neck and repeatedly kicked him in a fit of rage until he lost consciousness. Duke reportedly died later at a veterinary clinic from injuries sustained during the attack.
Following the incident, the Miami-Dade Police Department suspended Cockfield from duty without pay, and opened an internal affairs investigation of his violent actions. After his arrest, Cockfield was released on bail. Miami-Dade police told reporters that Cockfield, a veteran of the force with 27 years experience, is a model officer with a file full of commendations and no history of disciplinary problems. However, with more than two decades of K-9 training under his belt, it is possible that this is just the first time this loose cannon got caught or reported for abusing an animal.
All too often, police officers get away with breaking the law simply because they are police officers. That is why it is especially important that Cockfield be held accountable for his actions—just like any citizen who commits murder should be. Sentencing guidelines for third degree felony animal cruelty charges call for a maximum of five years in prison, which is actually a small price to pay considering that Cockfield brutally took the life of his young canine companion and partner for something as innocent as an ill-timed bark.
Sergeant Allen Cockfield's trial is scheduled to begin on September 24th. Please write to prosecuting attorney Isis Perez before then and politely ask that she seek the maximum penalty in the case against Cockfield.
Public Corruption Unit
1350 NW 12th Ave.
Miami, FL 33136