On Labeling Undercover Investigators “Accomplices”

Disgusting Cattle Network article that focuses on lawyer Peggy Kirk Hall’s efforts to find ways to make undercover animal cruelty investigators vulnerable to criminal prosecution.

She says the videographer may have had an obligation to immediately report the abuse, and by not doing so may have been guilty of being an accomplice.

What a load of bullshit. The whole point of an undercover investigation is to document the existence of pervasive and ongoing cruelties, and this documentation is invariably turned over to law enforcement. These investigations totally depend on the investigator keeping his cover for weeks at a time, which would be impossible if he was legally obligated to break off his investigation and alert authorities at the first sign of cruelty.

It’s really a very similar situation to undercover police work involving nailing a drug kingpin. In that situation, you’ve got an undercover detective typically making dozens of purchases of illegal drugs, all for the sake of amassing evidence that points back to the main supplier. Under Hall’s logic, the detective would become an accomplice if he didn’t make an arrest every time he bought a $20 baggie. You’d get a bunch of small fish charged and released, and the big fish would go untouched.

If undercover investigators were forced to wear Hall’s straightjacket, Hallmark, Bushway, and Professional Laboratory and Research Services would still be in business, perpetrating horrific cruelties on a daily basis. And for that matter, our friend Billy Joe Gregg, Jr. would be a free man. Is that really what Hall wants? (Thanks, Paul.) Link.

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