Florida lawyer, Thomas Cope continues to seek out himself in sizzling water. After the Clearwater lawyer shooed a raccoon off of his boat 20 miles offshore, Cope has come right into a litany of backlash, together with an investigation which will depart him disbarred.
The video posted to Fb reveals Cope shooing the raccoon off of his boat, utilizing profanity and in the end leaving the raccoon stranded 20 miles offshore within the Gulf of Mexico.
In line with the Tampa Bay Instances, Cope is at present below investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee and the Florida Bar.
Right here’s what it is advisable to know:
1. Over 80,000 Folks Have Signed a Petition to get Cope Disbarred
- In line with a Care 2 petition, about 83,000 folks have signed to get the Florida Bar to analyze Cope and have him disbarred if discovered accountable.
“Have you ever heard the one in regards to the lawyer and the raccoon? No, it’s not a contemporary twist of an historic fable. It’s the disturbing story of how one man ruthlessly and with out regret killed an harmless animal all as a result of he might,” the petition’s description begins.
The petition which has a objective of 85,000 signees has amassed signatures spanning all around the world. Sadly for Cope, folks have been ruthless with their feedback in regards to the video.
“Thomas Cope selected to slowly torture this little animal to loss of life, and he thought it was humorous. This reveals a lot about his character. He has no enterprise training regulation,” commented one signee from Kentucky.
2. Cope has Apologized for the Video
After Cope’s video went viral, and the backlash ensued, Cope issued an apology.
In line with WFLA, Cope’s assertion stated he wished there was one other approach.
“I apologize for my actions on the boat earlier this week. I sincerely want there was a way I might have safely returned to shore to launch the raccoon,” Cope stated. “The animal was operating across the boat hissing and growling, making it inconceivable for me or my pal to drive the boat.”
Cope was additionally scared that the raccoon might have been rabid.
“Realizing raccoons will be rabid and unpredictable, the one life like choice we might consider in that second was to get the raccoon off the boat,” Cope stated. “I really feel unhealthy for the animal and I’m sorry for what I did.”
3. Cope is Beneath Investigation by the Florida Bar & Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fee
In line with WFTS, Cope is at present below investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee.
The FWC was made conscious of the video on Could eight and put out the next assertion:
It’s nonetheless too early to take a position as to what violations passed off on this incident, nevertheless, the FWC want to state that we imagine these vile acts of animal cruelty haven’t any place in our state or anyplace else.
The Tampa Bay Instances reviews Cope can be below investigation by the Florida Bar.
Animal rights lawyer Nora Constance Marino advised WFTS that Florida’s animal cruelty statute is “fairly stable.”
“The Florida animal cruelty statute is fairly stable. First, it applies to ‘any’ animal, which would come with raccoons,” Marino stated. “It additional applies to an individual who has ‘custody or management of any animal,’ who commits or fails to commit an act, ‘which ends up in the merciless loss of life, or extreme or repeated infliction of pointless ache or struggling.’ The photographs set forth in that video, to me, clearly meet this normal.”
4. Cope Stated ‘So Lengthy, Sucker’ After the Raccoon Fell Into the Water
In line with the video posted to Fb, Cope and his buddies had some fairly harsh phrases for the raccoon that was on their boat.
“Get off my f*cking boat! What the f*ck is fallacious with you?” one man is heard yelling within the video. “We’re simply going to should push him off,” one other says.
After the raccoon fell into the water, the person who took the video, presumably Cope, stated “So lengthy, sucker,” because the raccoon swam round aimlessly within the water.
Sadly for Cope, he might be the “sucker” being stated “so lengthy” to, if the Florida Bar decides to behave on their investigation and strip away his lawyer standing.
5. Specialists Say Cope ‘Had a World of Choices’ As an alternative of Leaving the Raccoon to Drown
Merritt Clifton, the editor of Animals 24-7, a nonprofit on-line newspaper and data service that focuses on humane animal remedy, spoke to the Tampa Bay Instances. Clifton stated Cope “had a world of choices.”
“Cope and whoever was within the boat with him had a world of choices, together with radioing to the Florida Wildlife Fee for recommendation if he wanted it — or happening Fb, sending out textual content messages, and so on., to seek out different potential advisors,” Clifton stated.
Clifton additionally advisable utilizing a cardboard field, fishing internet or ice chest to entrap the animal, earlier than locking it within the boat’s cabin.
Bob Jones, govt director of the Florida Fisheries Basis, additionally talked to the Tampa Bay Instances.
“As a Southern boy taught to eat no matter I kill, I might have tried to shoo the raccoon into the fish field if doable,” Jones stated. “If all of the poor critter did was poo poo on the boat that may not rise to a killing offense. Nonetheless, if the raccoon attacked the Captain of the ship, maritime authorized precedents must be thought of.”
Not everybody took the time to sign their virtues with the Tampa Bay Instances although. Terry Daniel of Pace Boat Adventures, a constitution boat operation in St. Pete Seashore stated he would’ve completed the identical factor Cope did – apart from one main element.
“Anyone would’ve completed the identical factor,” Terry Daniel stated. “He simply shouldn’t have filmed it.”