Salisbury Police Officer James "Buddy" Hampton was caught on camera early last month abusing his K9 partner and yesterday he resigned right before his termination hearing. Officer Zuul is a 4 year old German Shepherd who had the misfortune of being assigned to the care of Officer Hampton as part of his duties with the Salisbury Police Department (SPD) K9 Unit until video surfaced of him being picked up by the neck and carried to a patrol car during training. You can watch the video embedded below this article. In that video Officer Hampton uses Zuul's leash and collar like a noose. Fortunately Zuul was not harmed.
All cops are not bastards because some cops are dogs. Dogs are innocent victims forced into a life of slavery by police departments all over the country. Usually they are treated well and are happy to do as they are trained because they want to please their masters. There is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners. No dog deserves to be treated like Zuul was. We are glad that the SPD had the good sense to assign Zuul a new handler as soon as this footage surfaces. We are also glad to hear that the SPD was about to hold Hampton accountable right before he resigned to avoid accountability, but that is not good enough. We would like to see the SPD arrest Hampton for animal abuse.
James "Buddy" Hampton was a 7 year veteran of the SPD who had held the rank of Master Police Officer since 2019. According to GovSalaries he made $52,058 in 2019 (https://govsalaries.com/hampton-james-m-31467402). Most media outlets have been referring to him as Buddy Hampton in their coverage, but as the SPD's statement about his resignation shows, his real name is James (https://salisburync.gov/Government/Police/About-Us/K9-Operations). According to public records, James M Hampton is a 29 year old resident of Salisbury who also owns property in Concord. He has a few priors for traffic related violations and was a registered Democrat before changing his status to non-partisan.