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Ex-Sulphur police officer charged has pleaded not guilty; lawsuit filed

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According to an August 12 report by KPLC News, a lawsuit has been filed against the City of Sulphur, Louisiana, as well as the police officer responsible for the fatal shooting of a dog in late April.

The lawsuit, filed on August 4 can be viewed by clicking here.

The City of Sulphur and former police officer Brian L. Thierbach are named in the suit filed by the owners of Arzy, whose fatal shooting was covered here on Examiner.

Attorney Alyson V. Antoon said the suit was filed on behalf of Brandon Carpenter and Logan Laliberte, both of Maine. Antoon stated in an email to KPLC

"We believe that the lawsuit speaks for itself. Nothing can bring Arzy back or undo the wrongs done to my clients. However, we are confident that the legal proceedings, both criminal and civil, will adequately address what we feel was a horrendous act of police brutality and abuse of authority."

Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan said the lawsuit has been received, and is being reviewed by the city.

Thierbach has been accused of shooting Carpenter's dog Arzy during an arrest. On Monday, Thierbach pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with the incident. He resigned in early May while under investigation by the Sulphur Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

The suit claims Thierback was "hostile, threatening and demeaning" to Brandon and Logan when he arrested them on a trespassing charge. Thierback walked over to Arzy and intentionally shot him in the head. Brandon also alleges Thierback "smirked" after killing his dog.

The suit also claims the City of Sulphur and the Sulphur Police Department knew Thierbach had on-the-job issues, and were negligent when they hired him.

These include, and can be verified here

*2006 Suspended without pay for eight hours following a vehicle accident
*2010 Thierbach was reprimanded for accidentally discharging his weapon while making an arrest in the K-Mart parking lot on Ryan Street in Lake Charles
*2013 Resignation from Louisiana State Police on April 26, 2013, came three days after he was placed on administrative leave and was notified that internal affairs was investigating him. According to the documents, Thierbach was accused of "violations of policies including, but not limited to, conduct unbecoming an officers"

It would be impossible for the Sulphur Police Department to be unaware of his employment history, since these records aren't difficult to obtain, and would have showed up in a background check.

According to KPLC News, Thierback went before a judge Monday morning, where he pleaded not guilty to aggravated animal cruelty charges. He has been free on $20,000 bond since the shooting of Arzy.

A pretrial conference has been set for December, but no date has been set for the actual trial.

In their lawsuit, Carpenter and Laliberte are seeking undetermined damages for loss of property, medical expenses and mental anguish.

The Facebook: Justice for Arzy page currently has more than 9,000 fans supporting their cause.

For more of Elisa's articles on Examiner about dogs shot by police, click here.

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