Here We Go Again

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

From the good folks at Keep Columbia Free:

A few days ago, SWAT officers of the Fulton (Missouri) Police Department shot and killed a dog while serving a “narcotics” search warrant. The residents of the house asked if they could cage the dog. The officers denied the request, ordering that the dog to be chained to a tree. The dog got loose and was then shot eight times, the first six shots wounding the dog and the last two point-blank, shotgun blasts killing it. After finishing off the first dog, the officers turned their guns on caged puppies only stopping when confronted by concerned neighbors.

They found enough pot to charge the guy with a misdemeanor. There’s a local news account at the link.

By the way, Fulton, Missouri has all of about 13,000 people. But they do have their own SWAT team.

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74 Responses to “Here We Go Again”

  1. #1 |  sigh | 

    “Another load of soldiers back from the occupation. Whate else is new. Ho many tour(s) of duty did the shooeter(s) do. Its just how they were trained to roll.”

    Cops operate under a lot less scrutiny than soldiers in many ways, and are generally not constrained by the same sorts of rules of engagement.

    If anything, this sort of SWAT team nonsense is what I expect from cops who are NOT veterans. Part of the whole “police militarization” problem is a bunch of yahoo cops being handed equipment that they simply do not have the training, professionalism, or institutional outlook to use correctly, if such equipment even can be used correctly here in the first place.

    There is a growing rift between the military and civilian law enforcement – vets (unlike other cops – and like everyone else – ) don’t get special treatment; they’re having this sort of BS happen to them as well.

  2. #2 |  Burgers Allday | 


    Are you in the market for a bridge by any chance? One that could produce a lot of toll for it owner if managed correctly . . .

  3. #3 |  jcalton | 

    The military has the Uniform Code of Military Justice and, by-and-large, it’s applied pretty well (and often) to the troops [high-ranking officers, not so much].
    If there were a Uniform Code of Law Enforcement Justice, things would be so much different in this country.

    Also, isn’t the blind pro-LEO argument that if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to be concerned about? Couldn’t we say the same thing about a UCLEJ and good cops?

  4. #4 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I challenge anyone to name me a soldier who has gotten in trouble for shooting a dog in Iraq or Afghanistan.*

    That doesn’t happen.

    Not all regcits just fell off the turnip truck (altho obviously some did).

    Find me an Iraqi who is willing to say that US soldiers didn’t run around shooting Iraqi dogs at will. If you want cred here, then that is how you get it. Either that or some vid of soldiers forebearing from shooting brking Iraqi dogs. How’s YOUR evidence, troops? Yuuuuuuuuuuuup. Thought so.


    * Yeah, I remember when that marine (iirc) in Hawaii (iirc) got in trouble for pretending to throw a puppy off a cliff and then allowing this puppy throwing video to get out to the general public (who reacted unfavorably). He may or may not have gotten in real trouble, ultimately, but this is not the type of thing we are talking about here.

  5. #5 |  Radley Balko | 


    You still haven’t cited a single source to back up all of these assertions.

  6. #6 |  Burgers Allday | 

    That is true, Mr. Balko. Sometimes in life one has to make tentative and provisional judgements that should be based on facts that should be known to one, but aren’t known to one through no fault of one’s own.

    As a private citizen I have no way of knowing whether various policemen who have shot dogs are exmilitary or not.

    If you have better info, or, as a journalist, can get such info then please, please, please give it to me. I can pay you for it if money is the issue (but I doubt it is).

    In the absence of affirmative info, all anybody can do is speculate. And that is equally true of people guessing that all these dog shooters are non-ex-military as it is of ppl (like me, perhaps only me) who are guessing that these dog shooters are ex-US-military.

    Of course, the real answer is to join together and declare that this informational vacuum should, nay, must, be filled, rather than having one side of speculators cast aspersions on the other side.

    We need to know whether these ppl are ex-military. By your tone I almost feel like you don’t want this particular info. I am trying to convince you that you should want it (and, further, that u give it to me if/when u get it).

    Not being a journalist it is the best I can do. When an issue falls into my balliwick, I think u know that I always try to research and help the best I can, in line with my training and experience. This is one where I need YOUR help. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

  7. #7 |  tarran | 

    That is true, Mr. Balko. Sometimes in life one has to make tentative and provisional judgements that should be based on facts that should be known to one, but aren’t known to one through no fault of one’s own.

    As a private citizen I have no way of knowing whether various policemen who have shot dogs are exmilitary or not.

    That’s an awfully wordy way to say “I’m prejudiced.”

  8. #8 |  johnl | 

    Burgers it’s you who are naive. Police in the USA have inadequate oversight, bad tactics, perverse incentives, and bad hiring policies, among other problems. The idea that those don’t matter, and that it’s only hiring vets that causes problems is bizarre.

  9. #9 |  Burgers Allday | 

    “I’m prejudiced.”

    First, prejudice isn’t always a bad thing. That is why my response was so wordy.

    Second, you, Tarran, are just as prejudiced as me. Probably more. It is right in your comments.

    Third, my prejudice here is not based on skin color (which is impossible to change as Michael Jackson found out) or homosexuality (again, probably not a mutable characteristic), but on the fact that a large group of people are trained to kill and to kill upon what would be considered as insufficient provocation in a domestic “US civilian” setting. We are not just talking about training in the nature of, say, dental hygenist school, or even the somewhat more rigorous training of law school. We are talking about a special kind of training that actually tries to get at a man’s reflexes and to manage what triggers will cause a split second decision to shoot or not shoot. As far as how these triggers are calibrated, I know because I follow the news.

    I know how they fired on Jessica Lynch’s ambulance, and also on the van coming to give aid in the Collateral Murder video. Then there is the part of the Collateral Murder where they fired the missiles into a building. Of course, the indifference to human life in these incidents is understandable because the US military was occupying Iraq and the Iraqi civilians behaved poorly and had to be dealt with harshly. It can never be forgotten that several thousand US soldiers perished in that war, with some of those deaths being at the hands of Iraqi people.

    How could you not hear about the Jose Guerena raid and not think “Nissour Square”?

    Like I said, I haven’t heard about any shooting of Iraqi dogs. If a white US soldier went to prison for that, it would be national news. You draw the conclusion that the military must not be shooting dogs in Iraq. I know better. It is fair play over there (as it well should be because the Iraqi people supported 9/11 and then made IED’s when the occupying army came in).

    In conclusion, it is good for the US soldiers to behave the way they did in Iraq, but that training they received, and those experiences they had, should be taken seriously. Part of that involves not letting these people be US police officers in the modern US. Maybe there was Barney Fife time when it wasn’t an issue that the WWII vets were coming into the domestic ranks. Those times are gone. Way gone. I think the My Lai massacre may have been the turning point.

  10. #10 |  Ted S. | 

    I for one won’t believe Burgers Allday until he produces a transcript of every 911 call he’s made.

  11. #11 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    What’s that line from Tropic Thunder? “Never go full…” something.

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I think I just read that Iraqi people supported 911 (remember that the US supported Saddam’s brutal regime) so it is perfectly OK to shoot their dogs.

    Iraqi peasants didn’t cause 911, just liked it…so shoot their puppies.

    I think Burgers might be Dick Cheney.

  13. #13 |  Steve | 

    Some one who doesn’t dislike P.E.T.A. as much as me should sick them on that town. It would be interesting to see how that worked out.

  14. #14 |  KristenS | 

    @ #63 – your assumption is PETA gives two shits about animals. Your assumption is false. PETA exists as a fundraising organization, and the “animal rights” stuff is merely the tool they use to collect money.

    Beter to sic the ASPCA or Humane Society on them.

  15. #15 |  Radley Balko | 

    We need to know whether these ppl are ex-military.

    Then go find out. You have a phone, don’t you? I know you have an Internet connection. The studies I’ve seen have shown that cops with military experience are less likely to use force, including shooting their guns.

    By your tone I almost feel like you don’t want this particular info.

    I don’t think it’s relevant, or a good use of my time. I suppose we could also check to see whether cops who shoot dogs were breastfed. I’m not sure what good it would do. The problems with police departments at the moment are bad incentives; poor training; martial rhetoric, equipment, and tactics; and lack of consequences for bad behavior. You put any group of people into that environment and you’re going to have problems. You obviously feel differently. So go prove us wrong.

    Not being a journalist it is the best I can do. This is one where I need YOUR help. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

    Bullshit. You don’t need a license to do journalism. If you really want to get to the bottom of whether cops who shoot dogs have military experience, I’ll divulge to you a secret journalistic technique to you that we journalists only learn after years and years of training: Call the police department and ask them. If they won’t tell you, send them an open records request. Anyone can do this. If you don’t know how, Google “open records request” plus the state where the department is located.

    But it’s a bit ridiculous to expect me to use my time to look for evidence that validate your theories.

  16. #16 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Because I don’t have names for the Columbia and Fulton shootings, it seems pointless to call on those. In the Austin shooting you got me a name, so I will start by investigating that one.

    As it turns out, the Austin pd site (at least the main one thru doesn’t have a phone contact for the Austin police department, but just an email contact.

    So, I went ahead and emailed them my question just now.

    Thank you for your help.

  17. #17 |  el coronado | 

    Just because it’s Monday, & everybody knows Monday is Conspiracy day….anyone else ever consider the possibility that Burgers is a cop who wanted to muddy the water here by changing the discussion from ‘cops killing dawgs’ to something completely irrelevant and different and off-topic?

    And succeeding hugely?

    LBJ once famously gave advice on how to do something like this to a colleague in a tight race, coming down to the wire. When the friend called him for advice, LBJ suggested “call [the opponent] a pig-fucker. He’ll be so busy trying to put out that fire, he’ll forget all about you.” There’s at least 31 flavors of disinformation. Just sayin’.

  18. #18 |  Burgers Allday | 


    Liv it, lern it, luv it. Dems yo peeps.

  19. #19 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Updated Status:

    Okay, the Austin PD confirmed that I must submit an “open records request” and instructed me how to submit by email, which I have now done.

  20. #20 |  johnl | 

    Great. Thanks for the update Burgers.

  21. #21 |  Louie USD | 

    Quintana, Young, Fox, Cavener and Warner are all SWAT cops in Columbia, but I’m not sure who was the trigger-man for each of the dog shooting incidents. Warner is the cameraman in the Jonathan Ryan March – Columbia, MO SWAT raid where two dogs were killed while retreating. Warner is a school resource officer and a pretty cool guy who while on stage at a recent fundraiser told a large group of people that he supports marijuana legalization in small amounts for use in your own home. Call the CPD and ask for Jill Schlude. She is the PIO and easy to get along with. You might also check the Citizens for Justice website. They have compiled tons of info on the CPD.

    Here is a F-ed up video on Columbia SWAT

    Here is the swat raid on Jonathan Ryan March’s house where two dogs are killed with Warner as cameraman

    Here is an interview with Jonathan Ryan March, SWAT raid victim.

    Here is the Citizens for Justice site with officer info

    Here is how you contact CPD

    No go out and become a journalist, Burgers!

  22. #22 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Sounds good, Louie USD, but if the media can’t figure out who shot Jonathan Ryan March’s dogs, then I don’t think I can. Maybe I’ll try to get in touch with Jonathan Ryan March himself and see if he knows. The names you have provided could help narrow it down.

    Now that I am in wait-for-response mode on Officer Thomas Griffin, I think the next one I want to check into is Troy Burnett.

    Both the shooting by Griffin and the shooting by Burnett (I mean his second doemstic kill, not his first) are on relative cler videos and they are exactly how I imagine a US military veteran would make his kills. Quick and to the point, without a hint of remorse. Not like Christopher Long sobbing in the yard, or Johannes Mehserle’s Forest Gumping.

    After Burnett, hopefully find the triggerpeople in Guerena’s case. I think they may have reported the names of the cops who saw Guerena’s muzzle flash (although it did not), but those individuals may not have been among the shooters. This is why the Burnett shooting video is so important. You can see exactly what he saw and exactly what kind of opportunity he gave his victim to surrender.

  23. #23 |  Burgers Allday | 

    status update:

    I have heard back from my open records request on Officer Griffin:

    This email is in response to your recent Open Record request received by the Austin Police Department on 5/7/12. In response to your inquiry, Officer Griffin does not have Military Experience..

    So, I will take that under advisement and move on to Burnett.

  24. #24 |  Cops shoot penned dog, chase and shoot two others, during marijuana bust | The Russ Belville Show | 

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