LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP - Police are reviewing a permit application submitted by an animal-rights group to hold a demonstration in front of the Township Hall in response to township attorney Richard "Dick" Shackleton's comments to two protesters outside the Philadelphia Gun Club in February.
The incident took place Feb. 20 after a pigeon shoot inside the club. Pigeon shoots are illegal in New Jersey but legal in Pennsylvania.
Township Police Chief Michael Bradley said Stuart Chaifetz, an investigator with Illinois-based Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, faxed a permit application to the Police Department on Wednesday afternoon. The group plans to hold a demonstration 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday.
"They've followed the law and submitted the proper permit. We'll review it now and determine if it is approved," Bradley said.
Bradley said there would be no need for an additional police presence in the area if the permit were approved.
Shackleton was caught on video shouting obscenities at Philadelphia attorney Marianne Bessey. The video was posted last week on YouTube. Chaifetz attended a Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners meeting two weeks ago to confront Shackleton, who said he was "happy to say that, what I said, I meant every word of it."
When Chaifetz gave him to opportunity to apologize to Bessey during the meeting, which the organization also taped and posted to YouTube, Shackleton refused, saying, "Absolutely not".
On Monday, the organization called on the township to remove Shackleton as solicitor.
"(Radio talk-show host Don) Imus was fired for saying less than this, and yet here you have a man who freely uses such hateful language and he's getting taxpayer money. This is why we are calling for his dismissal as town attorney," Chaifetz said.
Mayor Joseph Mancini has said Shackleton is an independent contractor not an employee of the township.
Chaifetz added that SHARK members attending the protest plan to distribute DVDs of the video showing Shackleton's altercation with Bessey. The two videos posted by SHARK on YouTube have received almost 6,000 hits collectively since last week.
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