To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Can Anyone Shoot Off Leash Dogs? Or Just Cops?

Quick re-cap of the most recent dog-killing-by-cop story. Police report here.

--Off-duty city cop takes his department issued dog for a walk in Druid Hill Park. By the officers own statement, he sees a large dog (turns out to be a pit/mastiff mix) peeing on a bush. He sees no owner near.

--Off leash dog then "looks" at officer and his dog. Cop attempts to walk away to avoid a situation.

--Off leash dog then moves in the direction of the officer and his dog -- he "barks loudly", and "lunges" in what the officer describes as an aggressive move.

--Cop "fears for his life", takes out his department issued glock, fires a round in the dog's head killing him instantly.

--Owner runs up screaming immediately after and identifies the dog as her own.

So those are the basic facts of what happened, according to the officer's own statement. Even if you took his version of events at face value, there doesn't seem to be any legitimate reason that the officer should have feared for his life and taken the deadly action that he took. The dog "peed", "barked", and opened his mouth. No biting, or pouncing on the officers dog.

Bottom line, the officer was scared by a big dog and acted on impulse, making a huge mistake. WITH A FUCKING FIREARM. If we switched places with the officer and it was a normal citizen who took this action, we can be sure that charges would have already been filed (as they should be). Since it's a cop, the BPD will most likely hope that this news finds its way out of the cycle after this weekend and everyone can go back to their normal day-to-day lives without consequences. Except, you know, the owner who lost their dog.

Admittedly I'm a dog lover. So I'm biased against people shooting dogs for no reason.
But I can't understand how anyone can be OK with police officers needlessly firing their weapons in situations where someone else could catch a bullet. Shouldn't that get a reaction from people even if you don't give a shit about dead dogs? You would hope so.

P.S. The Baltimore Sun doesn't do the truth any favors by washing over this story by originally publishing a blog post with the title "City police officer shoots, kills dog in Druid Hill Park after attack" They have since changed it (after I pointed out that there was no attack) to "City police officer shoots, kills dog in Druid Hill Park after saying he was attacked"

There was no attack. By the officer's own admission there was no fucking attack. A big dog barking does not equal an attack that you can respond to with bullets.

Here's hoping that owners keeps this alive and sue the shit out of everyone involved, because the consequence for illegally having your dog off leash shouldn't be a bullet to the head.

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