Cook-off Cop Fired for Tossing Tear Gas at Rivals

If you were competing in the prestigious Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo barbecue cook-off and some other team started to annoy you, would you a. simply ignore them, b. taunt them for making "shitty bullshit food," or c. throw "some type of tear gas-like device" at them?

If you are passionate cook-off cop Mike Hamby, you would choose option c. And you would be summarily suspended, then fired, from the Houston Police Department—because even if you've put in more than 30 years of service, you're just not allowed to tear-gas other people at barbecue cook-offs. It's not polite.

Hamby has denied throwing some kind of "powerful chemical irritant" into the tent of rivals the Fayette County Cookers— whose ranks include wheelchair-bound amputees—during the cook-off, which took place back in February. But after conducting an internal investigation, the HPD ended up letting Hamby go on June 17. In addition to losing his position he also had to resign from the police officer's union and the Calf Scramble Committee—the latter being the organization responsible for coordinating the calf-catching part of the rodeo. Now Hamby can either a. appeal his case with the HPD, b. request an independent review, or c. use his free time to perfect his cooking techniques. Seems like he should go with c. again.

[My Fox Houston, Houston Chronicle. Image via Houston Press.]