This entry was posted
on Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 4:55 pm by Radley Balko
and is filed under Police Professionalism.
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Ah, good lord. I should know better than coming onto this website just before a long weekend…
I have been attacked by a dog before while out walking. Doberman charged at me through a gate. Now I’m not the most agile of people, but I was able to deflect the dog and subdue it without a bite on me (did get scratched by it’s claw, but it was minor). Held the dog down until the owner came out to retrieve it. If I can do it while unarmed, these “professionals” should be able to as well…
I dealt with a fractious dog for a year, a year that I spent trying to save the dog’s life; he was a beautiful 65 lb. Springer. I routinely caught the dog when he turned, stopping him by pulling him off his front paws. My biggest problem was my Doberman, a very protective female that would hit him at full charge whenever he threatened me. I would end up with one dog in each hand holding both off the ground. I was 5’9” and 160. Small by police standards.
The behavior of a dog about to attack is identifiable. If they have a collar they are manageable. Police need more training. They especially need to training on how a tethered dog is no threat.
Sadly I don’t believe this is a training issue, this is an issue where the officers just want to fire their weapons and kill something, and there is no accountabilty when they do. On a more positive note the majority of commenters on these articles state disgust with the police actions.
2 of the killings were set up by pursuing minor drug crimes and one to deliver a subpoena… good grief. These fuckers would see fans cheering and heckling in the stands at a high school basketball game as being ‘antagonistic’ and do a mass shooting. Idiots never want to de-escalate a situation.
Usually, when articles such as this one is posted, I see many disgusted commenters noting that meter readers and postmen tread through millions of yards each day without ever shooting a dog. It’s a great point and, I think, incontrovertable evidence that many cops are violent sociopaths.
However, to take the postman analogy a step further, let me remind younger folks that in pre-internet America almost everyone got the bulk of their news from daily newspapers that were delivered to their doorsteps. These papers were delivered by a virtual army of 12-14 year old children on their bikes, including myself. Add to this scenario the fact that there weren’t many localities that had leash laws in those days, and most dogs ran free in their neighborhoods. We learned to understand dogs’ mannerisms and became friends with most. We kicked a few bad actors or whacked them on the nose with sticks. I got treed, once. It was no big deal; just part of the job. And we were children.
Lori Wilson |
September 1st, 2012 at 10:55 am
I live in a rural area of far Northern California with 4 large dogs and a handful of cats. I’m one of the few in this area that don’t allow their dogs to run free, and have surrounded my yard with 6′ chain link fencing. My electric meter is on the back porch and the meter reader must open a gate to access it. My dogs know exactly when the meter reader comes and rush out to get their treat from him before he does his job and leaves. I am terrified to think that if a cop were to do the same thing I would have 4 dead dogs (and be under arrest for subsequently doing grave bodily harm to the stupid cop!)
Here is one from last week. “Brad” the dog was shot in his own fenced backyard. One of the family members states that one officer said Brad was shot through the gate. But the LT. claims that the officer was in the backyard and the dog “charged” the officer. Me personally, I tend to believe that he was shot through the gate. And I wonder if the officer who told the family member he was shot through the gate is in hot water for not sticking to the standard “script” of the dog “charged”, “officer feared for his life” , “had to defend himself” statement. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20120824-riverside-police-shoot-dog-to-catch-suspect.ece
Lou Skannen |
September 1st, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Someone should do a series of comic panels: UPS guy, wife signing, dog; USPS delivering to door slot, dog; surveyor working back lot lines, dog; Girl Scouts selling cookies d-d, dog; Jehovah Witnesses witnessing, dog; big, terrified cop shooting dog.
There’s no excuse for cops to be shooting that many dogs unless their heads are bone clear through.
From the article about an officer who shot a tethered dog rather than take two steps backward:
Wright justified the shooting by saying that there was a chance the tether could have slipped off which would have resulted in Boutin being bitten.
I’d debate the absolute carte-blanche right to shoot a dog who actually bites you – having been nipped a few times over the years. I’d say it takes more than a few abrasions to rise to the level of justifying deadly force. The normal “he’s coming right for us” excuse for loosing a few rounds at an animal is pretty close to “slap him with a dead fish” territory, but at least you can allow for different interpretation of events and lack of understanding of canine behavior.
But “he coulda gotten off of that leash and then lunged for me and then bitten me” is so full of stupid that it should be well beyond any debate. I’m almost as disgusted at the reporters present for the statement for not aggressively following up on something that mind-numbingly stupid.
So out of the better part of a million dog bites serious enough to warrant medical attention each year, 16 result in fatality. Oakland police kill that many unarmed people each year. Think you’d get a pass for a “shoot on sight” policy that rested on that data set?
So it’s not only UPS drivers, letter carriers, meter readers and Jehovah’s Witnesses who are perfectly capable of navigating neighborhoods without shooting dogs – in the one story even the murder suspect figured out how to avoid killing the dog.