Seems that Marylanders are getting a bit fed up with this problem.
A Frederick County Circuit Court jury in the civil case filed by a Taneytown couple whose dog was shot by a sheriff’s deputy found in favor of the plaintiffs Monday evening.
The six-person panel deliberated for more than 4 1/2 hours before returning a verdict to award Roger and Sandi Jenkins $620,000 in damages, according to plaintiff’s attorney Rebekah Lusk.
They found that–Deputy First Class Timothy Brooks violated the Jenkinses rights under the Maryland constitution when he shot their chocolate Labrador retriever, Brandi, on Jan. 9, 2010, while he and Deputy First Class Nathan Rector were at their Bullfrog Road home looking for their son, who was wanted on a civil warrant called a body attachment.
The jury also found that Brooks and Rector violated the couple’s rights by entering their home without permission.
The defense was . . . interesting.
[Defense attorneys] focused much of their attention on the actions of Roger Jenkins, who they said was largely responsible for the shooting of his dog. They said Jenkins could have told the deputies that his son wasn’t home, because he hadn’t lived there in several months since being kicked out, and that he could have taken more action to secure the dogs.
“He made certain decisions that led us to this sorry state,” Karp said of Roger Jenkins.
But Hansel said the Jenkinses knew their son sometimes sneaked back in the house, and that Roger Jenkins was being honest when he told them he wasn’t sure if his son was home.
Hansel said that by suggesting that Roger Jenkins’ actions led to the shooting of his dog, the defense was implying that citizens should fear for the safety of their dogs around law enforcement.
“What they’re suggesting is that Mr. Jenkins should have known that police officers will gun down your dog,” Hansel said.
Well on that question, the defense might have a point.