Forest Lake complaint

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To: Richard Peterson, Chief of Police City of Forest Lake

Formal complaint of officer Brent Degroot

Re: 1/14/12 10010 North Shore Trail deer dispatch

  I hear by request officer Degroot be put on a minimum of one week un-paid suspension as he is
a danger to this community. I have read his report and find fault and inaccuracies of time lines
and distances from the road and house. He exercised poor judgement by discharging a firearm
on private property as there was no threat to human life. Per DNR e-mail dated 1/3/12.
 “If the deer are spotted and it is safe to dispatch them please so discretely”
 We the homeowners were not notified of his presences or his intent which made for a dangerous
situation. Not only were our we in harms way but any neighboring adults or children who may
have been outside as well as our pets. We were all with in a distance of being wounded or killed
by a stray 12 gage shotgun projectile. The lighting was poor as sunrise was 0748. The first shot
was approx. 50 minutes prior to sunrise which I dismissed at the time due to darkness and close
proximity to our house. After hearing the second shot 5 minutes later I rushed out to our patio
door to try and assess the situation. I saw an adult male standing 54' NOT YARDS from our
house wearing dark clothes with a shot gun in his hand. HE DID NOT IDENTIFY HIMSELF nor
did I know he was a cop. This situation could have easily ended in injury or death to Degroot,
myself or both.
   As a homeowner I have the right to protect myself and my family by way of self defense. I
have multiple firearms and feel very confident in my ability and would not hesitate to defend
myself and my family. I repeated with obscenities several times and yelled at him. What are you
doing shooting on our property? He stood there for 2-3 minutes not saying or doing anything
with a confused look on his face and finally said he was here by order of the DNR to shoot two
collared deer. It was then I came from the deck advancing toward him. I saw one of the fawns lie
dead approx. 18' from Degroot and then saw a police patch on his arm. I was in total disgust that
one Forest Lakes finest would be so negligent on private property of both the danger and
senseless killing of the fawn.
    I have reviewed all the FL police reports of deer that have been dispatch from the prior two
years to date. Of those reports all deer were dispatched due to a car crash or the deer were
severely injured. Not one report was due to “a wild deer most likely captured and collared to be
dispatched” Where is the common sense factor here? Really, two 6 month old fawns wearing
nylon collars WITH SCOTCH LITE on them in someone’s yard. I also do not believe he nearly
hit them as he has lied in other areas of his report. The scotch lite on their collars would be seen
from a quarter mile away as the patrol cars headlights had to be on due to darkness.
    We have had a prior bad experience at our home of a break in and this has brought back some
painful disturbing memories to us both. This over anxious rookie officer of the law has brought
us to the point we no longer feel comfortable or safe in our own home. We can’t even stand to
look out our back door or master bedroom window without feeling sick to our stomach. We have
lived, worked and enjoyed Forest Lake for 34 years. We have resided at this location for 23 years
for its’ once quiet setting. On January 14th 2012 Degroot made a radical decision with poor
judgement that has forever change our lives. This was handled wrong and it’s inexcusable.
Degroot needs to be held accountable for his actions. If not, he and the Forest Lake police
department will never be trusted by us or this community.

Jeff Carpenter

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