Escambia County, FL – A woman was arrested after making a false report that she saw a deputy kill a chicken in a drive-by shooting.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan took to social media to correct the record about the fate of an errant chicken in the road that a deputy was accused of shooting (video below).
The sheriff said in the video that a deputy on patrol had run over a chicken, but that supposed witnesses had filed police reports that said they had seen the deputy shoot the bird through the passenger-side window of his police SUV.
Those reports, made on social media and to the sheriff’s department, quickly went viral and drew the ire of community members who were outraged their local law enforcement was allegedly driving around shooting people’s chickens.
But surveillance and in-car videos of the incident showed that none of that actually happened, and the woman who made the false report has since been arrested, according to the Miami Herald.
“Unfortunately, we struck and killed a member of the fowl community, in this case, a chicken,” Sheriff Morgan told constituents in a video posted to the sheriff department’s official Facebook page on Wednesday.
He said that statements to the contrary by witnesses were patently untrue and that the chicken’s demise had been captured on video.
“These are statements that unfortunately have gotten legs on social media,” Sheriff Morgan said. “Everyone wants to believe that the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputy drove by, shot an innocent chicken — if you will — through the passenger-side window of his SUV.”
He said the in-car video showed there was no gunshot but that the unfortunate thump of the bird as it hit the police vehicle’s windshield was audible.
“I hope you feel really good about yourself, and the lies you’ve been spreading on social media in an attempt to demean and defame the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Morgan said, directing his anger at the witness who made the false police report.
The chicken’s owner also reported hearing a gunshot at about the time the bird was killed, but the sheriff said no shots had been fired and the videos had been since shown to the owner.
Sheriff Morgan’s video was a carefully-worded rant delivered by a very angry and offended community leader.
“The videos will show you that nothing can be farther from the truth,” he said.
“Folks, this does not bode well nor describe exactly the citizens that I know in Escambia County,” Sheriff Morgan said, as if to shame the false reporter. “It is beyond me why anyone would want again to defame or demean anyone, let alone the sheriff’s officer. Again, we’re out there to protect and serve and bring the truth.”
“Aren’t you glad that we here at the sheriff’s office don’t get on social media and talk about the citizens that we serve? What we think or speculate that you might be doing?” the sheriff asked with a hint of snark in his voice. “Accuse you of crimes that you haven’t committed? And put it out for the world to read. Aren’t you glad that someone in Escambia County has a modicum of character and integrity?”
The first video showed a chicken crossing the road, and going right under the wheels of a police SUV that passed by.
The second video clip was filmed inside the police SUV and an audible thump is heard as the bird strikes the vehicle.
Police arrested 34-year-old Kimberly Henson on Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report, the Miami Herald reported.
The probable cause affidavit said Henson claimed she and her child watched from a bus stop as the Escambia County sheriff’s deputy “shot the rooster in its own yard [and] we watched it die.”
The affidavit further stated that “the rooster was not restrained” and was crossing the road when it was hit by the deputy.
Watch Sheriff Morgan’s diatribe and the videos of the chicken’s demise below: