Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Here's where I piss some of you off.

Beware: a dog dies violently in the following video. 
Keeping an open mind, here? I'm most angry at the possibility that the cops arrested a guy simply for video recording their actions in a public street. I suspect that there's more to it, but that's the given reason here.

Then, I'm angry that the dog owner would set things up so that his dog ran loose. That's on him.

Finally, I wish that someone had snapped an ASP before going toward the dog. Pressuring it into a charge wasn't a good idea.

I almost shot a large dog, the day before yesterday. Somehow, I kept my perfect record of never having to defensively put down a dog in the street. But this one didn't pay attention to the expandable baton that I had snapped out while I stood in a public street. I nearly had to get to deadly force, as I was backing toward my car, before the dog's owner appeared and called the dog off. And I would have gotten criticized. But I've got scars that I will carry for the rest of my life, because I've hesitated, before. When you get bitten, badly, you're not able to do your job. I'm sorry, but the dog's not worth it.

Still, I've tazed dogs which I was later told that I should have shot, to avoid having such issues. (On one occasion, the Taser didn't work, and I had to use my stick to keep me from getting bitten.)  I don't WANT to alienate my community from me. I not only work here, and try to serve these people, but I live here. I don't want members of my community worrying that I'm a person who would kill their family pet. It would do harm to my family relations to the community, and to the department's. I don't want to kill a dog. But if I must, I will.

It is not a human. It is an animal. I should not have to endure being bitten before taking action.

And whatever faults those cops may have, shooting a (sadly confused, loyal) animal to prevent getting bitten in the street isn't really one of them. What they did to lead up to that, though, may well be the subject of my scathing criticism, soon.

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At Saturday, July 06, 2013 7:48:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Concur, there were multiple ways this could have been avoided...

At Saturday, July 06, 2013 11:15:00 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

This was certainly avoidable, but I very nearly shot my neighbor's chocolate lab. As in, I was clearing leather as she backed down. A split second more and I would have killed my neighbor's dog.
There are times when it is warranted. A lot of mistakes were made leading up to the officer shooting this dog, but he wasn't wrong to do so at the moment he did so. He wasn't completely right either, but I can't fault him completely in this one.

At Sunday, July 07, 2013 8:57:00 AM, Blogger tweell said...

A couple more facts that have surfaced is that the guy has significant history with the police in this town, and that he drove up playing his stereo so loud that the cops couldn't talk normally, then wouldn't turn it off when told to. There's some entrapment going on here, and it isn't from the police side.
The cops didn't handle the dog in the best manner, IMO, but so far I think most of the fault is with the owner.

At Sunday, July 07, 2013 2:33:00 PM, Anonymous James Nelson said...

You may be right that there is more to the story, but given the current state of things few would believe it. This is primarily the fault of police departments across the country.
Out of control SWAT teams, the standard treatment of civilians as the enemy. the overall militarization of the police are all factors. The very notion that police are not civilians, but something else, something more important than the citizenry that they serve s a symptom.
You may be a great guy and a fair and balanced officer who would never do such things, from reading what you have written I believe that you are. But my default position has become don't trust or talk to the police because I believe that it is no longer safe.
As long as your gut reaction to this kind of story is that the citizen MUST be in the wrong and the officers must be protected, that is part of the problem.

At Sunday, July 07, 2013 2:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just confused why the man was arrested any way, and again video was not great and not saying I did not miss something but dog did not appear overly aggressive did not appear to be growling or anything but again I could be wrong

At Sunday, July 07, 2013 11:00:00 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

This was certainly avoidable, but I very nearly shot my neighbor's chocolate lab. As in, I was clearing leather as she backed down. A split second more and I would have killed my neighbor's dog.
There are times when it is warranted. A lot of mistakes were made leading up to the officer shooting this dog, but he wasn't wrong to do so at the moment he did so. He wasn't completely right either, but I can't fault him completely in this one.

At Monday, July 08, 2013 9:37:00 AM, Blogger Mulligan said...

I consider myself a hardcore dog owner.

Maybe I'm wrong here but I see the end result as just the last domino to fall in a series of events that seems to have begun with officers failing to adequately control their AO. If you've got people getting out of their cars, with or without cameras & dogs, and wandering around in a manner that can effect your operation you're inviting all kinds of repercussions.

That being said, if you are an officer, lawfully (<--keyword) performing your duty, & a hostile dog is charging you and not responding to commands from the owner, take appropriate action.

As with anything else, a responsible owner will train, train and train some more. Even dogs trained for protection must respond to commands. An owner must be aware of his situation and how the dog will react at all times.

At Monday, July 08, 2013 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous aczarnowski said...

I'm angry about what seems to be a shoot first default when it comes to dogs. But nothing in your post pisses me off. It's exactly what I hope would be the default.

Descalate the situation if possible, ramp up the use of force instead of jumping to the end, defend yourself if you have too, and think of the longer term impacts of your actions. Thanks for doing all that.

At Monday, July 08, 2013 2:35:00 PM, Anonymous James Nelson said...

I see reasoned discourse isn't limited to the anti-gun sites.

At Monday, July 08, 2013 11:57:00 PM, Blogger Memphis said...

Our society has turned everything on its head. These days, if you shoot an endangered or protected animal even to save your own life you may go to federal prison. If you shoot an attacking dog to protect yourself from serious harm the media and animal-loving community attacks you for being cruel and heartless, and truly seems to think that humans should allow themselves to be torn to shreds rather than to hurt an animal. We've devalued human life to an extreme degree. It's madness and its highly destructive.

At Tuesday, July 09, 2013 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Cormac said...

There's an officer in Arlington, TX who shot my friend's pitbull in the BACK OF THE JAW while it was "attacking" him...

Then lied about it under oath before the vet stepped up and explained the wound path.

The dog survived, fortunately, and was just as sweet and affectionate (and HUGE) as ever, but his pancreas failed a few weeks ago (apparently it's a common reaction to extreme stress).

Maybe you should come down and teach our local cops a few lessons in restraint.

At Tuesday, July 09, 2013 9:43:00 PM, Blogger TBeck said...

Actually, I agree with you. I know how unpredictable dogs can be and large dogs can cause crippling injuries. Last year I decided to euthanize a beloved family pet because he bit two people in two days. One was a member of his family and the other was a 10 year-old girl. Both bites drew blood and the little girl was also badly bruised. It is wrong to expect police to accept a threat to life and limb without responding appropriately.

In your recent link to the urban photo essay I was struck by how many people seemed to view powerful dogs as some sort of weapon or fashion accessory when they were in public. The owner is responsible for the dog's behavior even if the dog bears the immediate consequences.

At Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct. A giant fail for all involved parties. The situation escalated without anyone backing down.

At Friday, July 12, 2013 2:46:00 PM, Anonymous Evyl Robot Michael said...

I agree with you. There was a lot of human error in there, but this was not some SWAT team shooting pets as SOP.

At Sunday, July 14, 2013 9:18:00 AM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...

I LOVE dogs, and they don't scare me. I am, pound for pound, way more bad-ass than they are, in addition to smarter and meaner. Needless shooting of pets infuriates me.

At the same time, if a pet owner chooses to not control their animal in a public space, all bets are off. Off-leash dogs in public that appear to be a threat warrant lethal force, and the owners should be criminally charged.

At Monday, July 15, 2013 4:53:00 PM, Blogger Ted said...

I had an interesting discussion about this video, that went something like this:

Acquaintance: "Cops should get training in how to deal with situations like this!"

Me: "They do. Part of that training is how to shoot a 100+ pound dog that's about to bite you."

The conversation went nowhere from there.

I agree that arresting a man for filming an occurrence on a public street is questionable.

I feel bad for the dog; it was clearly a loyal beast.

I wish the owner had secured his animal properly.

At Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:21:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

"I see reasoned discourse isn't limited to the anti-gun sites."

I see that you ability to jump to conclusions is not limited to your opinion about police.

I've been on an 11 day vacation in the Northwest, mostly camping. I've had comment validation on for over 6 years. I just got back from the airport. Your comment was published as quickly as I could do so.


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