ATWATER, Minn. - In the small town of Atwater, there is an issue that has reached well beyond its borders. Last month, Atwater Police Chief Trevor Berger responded to a complaint of a wandering chicken outside the home of Ashley Turnball.
Berger says it was one of many complaints.
City ordinance prohibits chickens in the city. But when Berger arrived, Turnbull wasn't home.
"I tried to get the chicken back in the coop. I probably spent 10 or 15 minutes trying to get it back in," said Berger.
That's when the chief killed the hen with a nearby shovel, he says accidentally severing the head and leaving it behind.
"I realize now, I made a bad decision.If I could take it back, I would. I feel awful about it," said Berger.
Turnbull admits she ignored a previous warning by police to get rid of the chickens, which were a birthday present for her 5-year-old son. She has now filed a complaint against Berger.
"I know I was in the wrong, but two wrongs don't make a right. And that's ultimately what it comes down to," said Turnbull.
At a packed city council meeting Wednesday night, people had a chance to voice their opinions with the majority supporting Berger.
Ironically, Berger has proposed changing the ordinance to allow chickens in the city, which the council asked him to look into earlier this year.
The council did not make any decisions Wednesday night, only listened to people's opinions.
The city attorney and council members are investigating the complaint against Berger, including if he broke any laws. City council member Pat Wortham is on the committee investigating the incident and supports the chief.
"He's done a lot of good things for the city," Wortham said. "I wished things could have been done different, but they weren't and we have to move on and go forward from there."
Despite his support, he said he would be unbiased in his review.
"We're not biased that way. We have to look at it from both sides, you have to look at the seriousness of the law," said Wortham.
Turnbull said she is moving forward with her complaint, at least for now.
"Yes, I was in the wrong. But if it were me and or anyone else who trespassed they would be in trouble for it," said Turnball.