LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP - An Illinois-based animal-rights group is planning a protest Saturday in the township in response to a YouTube video that surfaced on the Internet last week, showing Long Beach Township attorney Richard Shackleton yelling obscenities at two women outside of the Philadelphia Gun Club after a pigeon shoot.
Long Beach Township Police Chief Michael Bradley said he has not been notified of any protest demonstration taking place this weekend.
Monday, Stuart Chaifetz, an investigator with Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, said members of the group are planning to protest in the township and call on public officials to remove Shackleton from his position as township attorney.
"He should be removed because of some of the comments he made in his capacity as the township attorney," Chaifetz said, referring to the April 9 town meeting.
Chaifetz addressed the Board of Commissioners about the incident and asked Shackleton for an apology. Instead, Shackleton told Chaifetz and those present at the meeting that he was "happy to say that what I said I meant every word of it." Shackleton also said he absolutely would not apologize to Marianne Bessey, the SHARK member who videotaped Shackleton shouting obscenities at her.
Mayor Joseph Mancini said that Shackleton is an independent contractor not an employee of the township.
"It would have been OK if he had apologized or just said nothing, but because he was acting in his position as town solicitor it made it worse," Chaifetz said.
Chaifetz said at the protest demonstration in the township, SHARK members will distribute DVDs to the public with the video of Shackleton.
"We want to ask people, do you know this is what your taxpayer dollars are paying for," he said.
Shackleton told The Press of Atlantic City last week that he is a member of Philadelphia Gun Club and he travels to Pennsylvania to shoot pigeons because he said "it is the most difficult form of shotgun shooting." Pigeon shooting is illegal in New Jersey. Shackleton added that he's been harassed by SHARK members for about a year.
During a typical three-day pigeon shoot contest as many as 15,000 birds can be injured or killed, said Steve Hindi, president of SHARK.
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