Another Day, Another Cop Shoots a Dog

It's time to teach the police some new tricks.

A police officer chasing a suspect entered Bianca Alakson's fenced-in backyard the other day. When her 10-month-old Labrador-mix puppy ran toward the Redford Township, Ohio, officer, he shot the dog twice, killing it. Alakson's boyfriend, Ryan Showalter, ran outside and demanded to know why. He was arrested for interfering with an investigation.

"I asked him why," Showalter said. "And he said, 'Because he was in our way.' I was breaking down hysterically in the back seat of the cop car, crying. I didn't know what to do."

This wasn't long after Cole Middleton, a resident of Raines County, Texas, called the police to report that his house had been burgled. When an officer arrived Middleton's dog started barking. According to news reports, "the deputy claimed the dog was about to bite him and shot the dog to defend himself. … Middleton says the dog was shot in the head. He begged the deputy to finish off his cowdog named Candy since the dog was suffering."

"I was so upset," Middleton told KLTV-7 News. "I went over there to her and she was still alive and I begged and pleaded with him to please shoot her again because I don't have any firearms. They got stolen. He went and got in his vehicle and backed out of my driveway.

"And then I had to do the unthinkable. … I had to kill my dog with my bare hands and put her out of her suffering, praying for this to be over with," Middleton said.

Those are just two of many cases in which police officers have killed family pets recently and without any apparent justification. There have been countless others. Police entered a back yard in Mobile, Alabama, encountered a dog, and shot it. A Tehachapi, California, officer saw a dog run toward him while he was performing routine code enforcement checks. "He just pulled out his gun and boom, boom, boom," reported a witness. An officer responding to a complaint about a moving van in the street in Columbus, Ohio, shot a dog nine times after it growled at him. And in Filer, Idaho, an officer shot a dog whose owner was throwing his 9-year-old son a birthday party. You can watch the dash-cam video (warning: strong content and language) by Googling "officer shoots dog at boy’s birthday party."

In most such cases, what happens afterward is: nothing. The police department says it will investigate the shooting, and then the incident disappears into a circular file or a black hole. Not always: The Texas officer who shot Middleton's dog was fired. But the police department in Filer decided officer Tarek Hassani was justified in using deadly force against a family pet.

Fortunately, some police departments have begun training officers in how to read animal behavior. Most dogs that feel threatened don't run toward the perceived threat, for instance—they run away. "An approaching dog is almost always friendly," according to a Justice Department report, "The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters." Here in Virginia some departments do a better job than others. But the commonwealth has not passed a law requiring such training, as Colorado has.

Meanwhile, public pressure to protect dogs is mounting. Filer residents were so upset by its department's decision that some launched a recall effort to unseat the mayor and the entire city council. A Kickstarter campaign has raised more than $45,000 for the documentary Puppycide.

"When we first learned about puppycide," the filmmakers write, "we assumed that these must be cases of police responding to threats on their lives from dogs trained to attack by criminal owners. That couldn't be further from the truth. We found scores of videos and news stories about dogs who were laying down, tails wagging, even running away but still shot by officers who used lethal force as their first and only response."

Nobody wants to see police officers—already underpaid and underappreciated—get hurt in the line of duty. What people object to is the gratuitous slaughter of pets that pose no threat. Officers couldn't shoot children with such impunity, and many pet owners love their animals almost as much as their kids.

That shouldn't be surprising. A special bond between people and dogs has developed over thousands of years of domestication.

Recent work by Hungarian researchers has shown that dogs can read emotion in human voices and, as The Washington Post reported the other day, "other studies have revealed that dogs yawn when they see humans yawning and that they nuzzle and lick people who are crying; scientists consider both behaviors displays of empathy, a rarely documented trait in the animal kingdom."

If dogs can read other species' behavior signals and show empathy toward them, then surely police officers should be able to as well.

This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • R C Dean||

    Once again, hot pursuit of a suspect that justifies trespassing suddenly evaporates when there is a puppy to be shot and an owner to be arrested.

    The priorities are clear, aren't they?

  • ||

    Agreed, struck me as very 'Rook takes pawn'.

    Still waiting to read an 'Officer shoots dog, owner shoots officer.' story. I don't think it would take very many to reprioritize the discharging of firearms on private property with no real legal aim in mind.

  • Polarbar||

    I can't wait, I beg people to start shooting cops who shoot their pets, please. Their badge doesn't give them magical rights that supersede your rights. I'm waiting for the report of a person calling 911 saying they shot am intruder who killed their dog, and it turns out to be a cop. I will cheer!

  • ||

    I will cheer!

    I'm sure we'll both feel sorry for the poor bastard that actually does it. They probably won't survive and, if they do, probably won't get to have children or see them again. Civilian 'good shooting' hearings rarely work out as well as the ones on the other side of the blue line.

    It's an absolutely atrocious state of affairs that a police officer can't envision what would happen if a stranger discharged a firearm on their property at their pets in front of their family.

  • dannye||

    Priorities:
    1. Officer safety
    2. K9 safety
    3. Saving face
    4. Law enforcement
    ....
    98. Civilian safety
    99. Civilian pet safety

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey Y’all!!! I have the perfect fix for all of this, listen up!! Ya know how the “softies” among the cops crowds keep soft teddy bears and stuffed bunny waaaabbbitts in their trunk to soothe small children in “domestic dispute” situations, and so forth? Well, conversely, the hard-asses among the cops crowds needs to do SOMETHING to intimidate those arrogant citizens who DARE to defy their SACRED, Government-Almighty Blessed Devine Wills, I can understand that… Can’t YOU, you heartless smellvillian, you?!?!... And so… I propose a win-win-win solution for us all! Y’all know how all the do-gooders want “no-kill” un-wanted pet shelters? I have worked (volunteered) in such places, I have seen way-hostile cats and dogs (some of them sick and ugly to boot) that are never, in a zillion years, going to get adopted… Yet… “No kill” even while they have no more room for adoptable strays. …

  • SQRLSY One||

    So… When policeman is getting ready to have a happy ol’ time shootin’ up the family mutt, he says to family, “Here, pay me $50 dollars, and I will allow you to move your pot smoke or your domestic dispute to the local no-kill shelter, and I will kill some of their un-wanted mutts instead”. OK? Family wins, no-kill shelter wins, in that they now have more room for adoptable pets. Cop wins, he gets $50, and some target practice. Done deal!!! (Alternate scenario, Fearless Cops keep un-wanted mutts-to-be-shot in their trunk, instead of the cute teddy bears, but you get the idea, I trust). … This LOVERLY idea brought to you for FREE by the Church of Scienfoology. To learn more about Scienfoology, please see www.churchofSQRLS.com

  • ||

    I can hardly stand to read these anymore.

    I know someone who had this exact same thing happen to him. I imagine this happens much more than we hear about.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And we hear about it all the time!

    I'm starting to wonder if there's some kind of procedure process that's being taught to cops in training nationally.

    Step 1: Yell, "Police, I have a warrant!"

    Step 2: Break down the door.

    Step 3: Shoot every dog in sight.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Anybody who would shoot a 10-month-old Labrador-mix puppy shouldn't be trusted. Whether this officer is disciplined or not, as far as I'm concerned, that's like an officer being convicted of perjury on the stand--in that any defense lawyer should be able to effectively impeach that officer in every single case he reports or testifies in.

    Is it not true, Officer, that you shot a 10-month-old Labrador puppy...twice?

    Far as I'm concerned, it's safe to suspect that officer has nefarious motives--always.

  • Christophe||

    That officer better hope he never goes to court for custody of his kids.

  • Mainer2||

    In New Hampshire, if an officer commits perjury, his name goes on a list. The Laurie list, named after a court decision that created the list. Not prosecuted, not fired...his name goes on a list.

  • gimmeasammich||

    "And we will keep that list in a safe place."

    Or however that SNL skit goes.

  • PACW||

    When my oldest was in public school his second grade teacher used the technique of putting a students name on the black board after they had used up their first three warnings. There was nothing that happened after this other than I guess the public shame. I overheard my son bragging to a neighbor that his name was on the board more than anyone else.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Nobody wants to see police officers—already [Redacted for disgusting content]—get hurt in the line of duty.

    You haven't met our anon-bot I see.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    Curse you!!!

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I admit it. Ted S hired me to get revenge.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    Nobody wants to see police officers—already underpaid and underappreciated—get hurt in the line of duty.

    Underpaid and underappreciated?!! This is sarcasm, yes?

  • Old Dave||

    It had better be sarcasm. I've never met a more useless, more whiny group of people than cops...except maybe public school teachers.

    Every time a cop gets killed on the job, an angel gets its fucking wings.

  • Andrew S.||

    I used to think the whole South Park "It's coming right for us!" thing was a joke.

  • DFG||

    Cops shoot dogs because they can. Most of these guys never get to pull their gun during the course of their career and so they look forward to any opportunity to kill something. Nine times out of 10 if they shot the homeowner too they would walk, so I suppose these people should consider themselves lucky they only lost their dog. I would have a real hard time not returning fire on someone who killed one of my dogs. I'd have to claim temporary insanity or something and we all know how well that would work.

  • sarcasmic||

    At one place where I used to work as a cook, the local cops would sometimes take over the bar. It was pretty crappy when they did, because they were very loud and disruptive and drove off all the other customers, but it's not like anyone could kick them out.
    Anyway, I got to overhear them talk shop. Apparently one of the best parts of the job is choking people. They all loved to do that.
    One night a particularly drunk cop was complaining that he'd never had the opportunity to kill anyone. His buddies consoled him, since they too took the job in hopes of killing someone.
    That's why people become cops. To choke and kill people.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I feel sorry for people who go out after work, and then talk about work.

  • sarcasmic||

    Being a cop isn't a job, it's a lifestyle. My stepson's father is a cop. Since getting the job the only thing he watches on tv is COPS. That's on the rare moments he's home and not working. He works holidays. He has yet to see his son play sports. Being a cop is his life.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Sounds like a swell guy.

  • Rhywun||

    He's building up that overtime so he can "retire" at 40 with a six-figure pension.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm witcha, DFG. Nobody's going to jump into my yard, especially the dog's yard (yes, they have one of their own, with their own wading pool) in "hot pursuit", but if somebody comes onto my property and shoots my dog, I'm going to regard them as an imminent threat to me and mine, and its possible that I could take the kind of action you are legally entitled to take when confronted with an imminent threat on your property.

    If nothing else, it'll be an interesting test case.

  • sarcasmic||

    If nothing else, it'll be an interesting test case.

    What would be interesting about a homeowner killed in a hail of gunfire after shooting a cop?

  • R C Dean||

    Well, I plan to survive. I like my chances in a gunfight with a cop.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah, but what about when the rest of the department descends on your home, guns drawn, shooting first and not bothering to ask any questions?

  • Dixon_Sider||

    Exactly. It's not the first one that's the problem; it's the 939387476281029838475757 that will follow after you off their buddy.

  • kilroy||

    police officers—already underpaid and underappreciated

    Citation needed.

  • Matrix||

    Cop shoots 19 week old puppy in front of 5 year old child whose family owned the pup

    Just because it was running around in its own front yard.

    I'm sure that 5 year old won't have nightmares for the rest of her life.

  • sarcasmic||

    That is some poor writing.

  • R C Dean||

    I thought the opening paragraph was quite good, actually:

    A Chicago police officer shot a pit bull puppy eight times within feet of a 5-year-old girl, then ticketed the father for having the dog off a leash, and made his teenage daughter clean the blood off the sidewalk, the mother claims in court.

    emphasis added

  • gimmeasammich||

    Upon information and belief, Officer Kumiga claims he shot the puppy eight times in order to protect a citizen.
  • gimmeasammich||

    Upon information and belief, Officer McGlade told at least one neighbor of Ms. Maglaya that she should not have a 'nigger dog,' referred to Ms. Maglaya as a 'spick' and that the all defendants have agreed that any dog without a leash in the neighborhood will be shot.

    Also the writing really is terrible. I'm having a hard time following along here. It's like the author took notes and changed several things around, but instead of writing a coherent piece just published the notes directly.

  • R C Dean||

    A 19 week old pit bull pup is unmistakably a pup, BTW. Here's pix of a (very) large male at that age.

    http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/pu.....bull10.htm

  • hatchr||

    Redford is in Michigan, not Ohio.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I love a "cop shoots dog" story like the next girl, but his is an re-run - posted this weekend.

    Keep it fresh Reason.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's interesting also that the alleged criminal was able to navigate the backyard without being bitten by or shooting the dog.

    The highly trained and disciplined cop however...

  • Jordan||

    Somehow, postal workers, utility workers, deliverymen, etc all manage to get through each day without shooting dogs. They must be ninjas or something.

  • DFG||

  • astronomical object||

    www.kickstarter.com/projects/1.....ocumentary

    ----------

    As for the cops, strip them of their second-amendment rights, permanently; Hold them financially accountable for damages, emotional trauma, and cruelty to animals; Permanently ban them from owning any animal; Add their names and faces to a register of animal-cruelty offenders; And permanently ban them from being within 50 ft of any dog or domesticated animal.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Yet another article blasting the police. Too bad the author doesn't have the time to write something about the police that is positive. I'm sure that a few police officers across the country must have done something right recently to merit some praise.

    As far as those dogs are concerned, the son of a friend of mine was killed by two very unfriendly dogs who got lose. Wish the police had been around at the time to shoot those dogs. Of course the owners were prosecuted, although that was cold comfort to the father of the deceased.

  • Albertus Magnus||

    I think the point is that cops are rarely if ever killed by dogs, yet they seem to killing a lot of them.

    Cops seem quick to pull the trigger nowadays. 100 cops were killed in the line of duty in 2013, not a single mention of by Dog attack.

    http://www.nleomf.org/facts/of.....auses.html

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Albertus Magnus

    I'm not sure what YOUR point is. Anyway, thanks for being civil about the reply.

  • Mainer2||

    "the son of a friend of mine was killed by two very unfriendly dogs"

    hashtag shit that didn't happen

  • gimmeasammich||

    For the estimated 26 fatalities from dog bites annually, I guess OTRTM is OK will the cops shooting ALL dogs they come across.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_attack

    In the 1980s and 1990s the US averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this has increased to 26.[5] 77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the dog owner's property.

    Another entry on the topic...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....ted_States

    Though not inclusive of every year since 1887, the data does seem consistent in showing that VERY FEW people over the age of 14 have been killed by dog attacks, and even then it was something like rabies or multiple dogs.

    Hell, it also shows that very few people at *any* age have been killed by dogs.

    I guess the answer is to just shoot them all.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Hey there Mainer2

    It really did happen you asshole son of a bitch. Fuck you dip shit. Take some of that hashtag shit and eat it. Have a nice day ass chunk.

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    I'm not sure what YOUR point is. Anyway, thanks for being civil about the reply.

  • sarcasmic||

    The point is that cops do this shit regularly and nothing else happens.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    This is pretty good. Not the best but good. I give it a B- primarily due to the personal anecdotal story starting with "the son of a friend of mine". It lacks the required credulity and is unnecessary to incite reply.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I stand corrected. Evidently your trolling wasn't as obvious as I had previously judged. I am upgrading you to an A-. Bravo sir. The first time an A has been given in over two years.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Fuck you.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Cliche Bandit,

    Guess you will just have to go fuck yourself you piece of shit. Stick it up your asshole.

  • JPyrate||

    Hey OTRTM. Maybe someone would mercy fuck you if you did not name yourself after a awful, half star movie.

  • JPyrate||

    OTRTM You are a fucking piece of human garbage.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Hey JPyrate,

    Stick your finger up your Hershey Highway and lick it dry. Have a nice day you ass hole son of a bitch.

  • JPyrate||

    OTRTM The best part of you was caught in a tampon, and flushed down a toilet.

  • Jose Chung||

    There's a big difference between killing unleashed dogs running free and mauling people as opposed to trespassing on private property in "hot pursuit" of a perp, stopping to shoot a dog multiple times and then arresting the property owner for having the temerity to be upset about it.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Thanks for the lecture asshole.

  • JPyrate||

    You should thank him. You would not learn anything about the world otherwise.

  • Bryan C||

    That's not Mandalay you're headed toward, son.

    "As far as those dogs are concerned, the son of a friend of mine was killed by two very unfriendly dogs who got lose."

    Which obviously justifies shooting friendly dogs doing no harm who are in their own yards. And rationalizing senselessly brutal behavior by men you fear. Oh, and bootlicking. Lots of bootlicking.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Bryan C

    That was NOT the point of my comment you moron piece of shit. My point was that the author of the article needs to find better things to write about. He takes an incident with some dumb cops in a isolated incident. He (the author) could be writing about all of the correct things law enforcement officers all over the country do every day.

    Ram your remarks up your ass hole you fucking moron.

  • DFG||

    My my officer, what an angry little thing you are. The fact that you call this an isolated incident means you have either never been on this website before or don't read period. Other than cop websites I mean.

  • JPyrate||

    OTRTM. I bet you can take the whole police baton like a cheap kielbasa.It's Good thing you have such loose throat muscles.

  • burserker||

    +1

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Bryan C

    Once again. Go fuck yourself.

  • JPyrate||

    OTRTM. Once again. Maybe if you were not so Fugley someone would mercy fuck you.

  • I. B. McGinty||

    Has anyone ever had a pleasant experience with the police?

    I had people drive through my yard because the road was closed a few years ago. This included some high school punk and the postal worker. When I called the police the guy shows up and says it's just grass. When I ask him about citing the kid or the postal worker, he says I can pursue a claim against them, but I would need a lawyer for that. After I calmed down (and moved) I realized the police wouldn't make any money off of my situation so they didn't do any thing.

    So yeah, I don't have a high regard for police because I know they are worthless.

  • sarcasmic||

    Has anyone ever had a pleasant experience with the police?

    One time I was walking home from the bar in the winter and a cop gave me a ride home. He didn't give me a choice in the matter and took the opportunity to frisk me, but still. I was expecting to have him demand ID, run me for warrants, threaten to arrest me, threaten to assault me, and finally tell me he's got an eye on me, like every other dealing with the police. He just gave me a ride home and drove off.

    I was baffled.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I guess you didn't look purdy enough, or it had just been too long since you last showered.

  • sarcasmic||

    Or maybe I had an encounter with the mythical good cop...

  • gimmeasammich||

    I guess anything is possible...

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    You must be a criminal type. The police always keep an eye on criminal trash. Tough shit gangster. Walking home from a bar drunk were you?!

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. That's me. derp

  • JPyrate||

    OTHRTM. You must really be into the criminal types. It's too bad that you are so obese, and ugly that you can't even find someone online to reenact those "Shower Rape Scenes" that you so desperately crave.

  • fold_left||

    The cops in my town (semi-rural bedroom community outside of chicago) seem to be inspired more by Andy Griffith than COPS.
    They're boring, and the town seems to like it that way.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I was punched in the face once in high school by a dude high on what I later found out was meth. My mom took me down to the police station at about 2:30 in the morning. We couldn't even get in the front door. The person at the other end of the intercom sent a uniformed cop out to talk with us in the parking lot. After straight up telling me that they weren't going to do anything about it even if I filed a report, I just said, "You guys are fucking worthless," and we walked off.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's how they serve and protect. Now had there been an opportunity to deal out some fines or confiscate some property, they would have been all over it. But no, it was just some pussy complaining about being the victim of a crime. They don't care about that shit.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Who goes to a police station and expects an investigation for getting punched?
    For the first time in my life, I'm taking the cop's side, unless we're talking about a broken jaw and/or missing teeth.

  • Seamus||

    I too must admit to having a good encounter. About 40 years ago, I was hitchhiking on the ramp between I-81 and I-64 near Staunton, VA. A state trooper stopped and gave me a ride all the way to Charlottesville. I told him that when he stopped, I thought he was going to give me a lecture and tell me that it was now illegal to hitch on the ramp as well as on the Interstate, and he answered that what I'd been doing actually was illegal, not because it was the ramp, but because it was a ramp between two Interstates, so that as far as the law was concerned, I was still on a limited-access highway. He was perfectly decent, and we had a pleasant chat until it was time to let me off.

    So perhaps I found the exception that proves the rule.

  • DFG||

    It's just the 95% who give the rest a bad name.

  • ||

    I'm sure that a few police officers across the country must have done something right recently to merit some praise.

    A few maybe, oddly enough none so meritorious or noble as killing a relatively defenseless animal though. Regardless, no act of heroism on the part of one cop offsets brutalism and villainy on the part of another. It's public service on the taxpayer's dime, do it right or don't do it at all.

    Wish the police had been around at the time to shoot those dogs.

    Really? Not wish that the dogs hadn't gotten loose, weren't as aggressive, or that the kid had been doing something else somewhere else? Your wish is that the same aggressive dogs had gotten loose and were in procession to maul the child and, just in the nick of time, officers showed up and what... lured them away with T-bones?

  • BenP||

    What are you attempting to say? That we should swallow some wholesome false police praise propaganda more often? Is your position that we should write articles akin to glorification of vile human beings just because of their position or uniform?

    Just because someone wears a badge does not endow them automatically with respect. Respect is earned and only in authoritarian or totalitarian governments required in obedience which still is not respect but instead fear.

    And if life in the US has come to the point where officer "respect" is strictly out of fear then we have a much larger issue with our police force and freedom than with them killing dogs. The willing and wanton killing of dogs is a symptom of a psychopathic criminal mind. Giving such a person a badge is a much larger problem caused by both R and D.

  • Albertus Magnus||

    All dogs should be allowed to bear arms.

  • ||

    We should all go troll PoliceOne.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I don't think there is enough rum at the house to calm me down if I do that. I guess I'll stop at the store on the way home...

  • ||

    That's why we should go as a group.

  • poloniusium||

    We haven't perfected over the internet alcohol sharing technology though.

  • Vampire||

    They (Cops) will never be held accountable so long as they remain the arm of the state and the politicians. The only way individuals that would provide investigative, or protective services would be held accountable is through free individuals in a free market. This is to include the private procurement and production of roads, etc.

    Violent cops that violate the natural rights of individuals, which include their right to property would wind up either injured or would never even make it home. No company subjected to market forces and the regulation of free individuals would even consider hiring such an employee as they would go out of business.

    The state, and it's police force are antithetical to a free society. It is yet another standing army that can be used to strip away an individuals natural rights through politicians making "law" which violates natural law, and should therefore never be implemented, and could never be in a free society.

  • sarcasmic||

    No company subjected to market forces and the regulation of free individuals would even consider hiring such an employee as they would go out of business.

    Companies that deal in organized violence aren't subject to traditional market forces because they can literally kill off the competition.

    Once they have the monopoly on organized violence, there is nothing to stop them from using credible threats of violence to compel everyone to pay for their "services."

    Death and taxes.

  • Vampire||

    So when the folks complain about monopolies, and evil corporations, why do they have no problem with the violent monopoly that is the state and its police forces?

    Companies subjected to free individuals would be deterred from killing off competition, as they themselves might wind up dead. Armed individuals would also put a check on these companies. This is something folks could not do with a fed and state govt that maintain standing armies not used to defend liberty, but take that right away, and even scare folks into giving up their natural rights.

  • sarcasmic||

    why do they have no problem with the violent monopoly that is the state and its police forces?

    Who said I don't have a problem with it? I don't like it, but I accept reality.

    Companies subjected to free individuals would be deterred from killing off competition, as they themselves might wind up dead.

    That's part of the business. But it's worth it because the company that kills off the competition can now tax those free individuals with impunity.

    Armed individuals would also put a check on these companies.

    Armed individuals are no match for organized violence.

  • Paul.||

    "I asked him why," Showalter said. "And he said, 'Because he was in our way.'

    The cops kind of fucked up here. They're now admitting they don't shoot dogs because they're a danger to life and limb, but they shoot them merely because they're in front of them.

  • Matrix||

    What? You have a problem with that? Why do you hate cops and love criminals so much, Paul?

    I think we may need to take a little ride downtown and question you about your whereabouts on the night of April 15th...

    WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE, PUNK?!

  • OzarkAggie||

    Dogs are actually smarter than the police who shoot them. This will only end, along with the brutality of citizens, when we have a citizens council to review complaints and an independent prosecutor to send these cops to prison.

  • astronomical object||

    "Companion animals are treated by the courts as personal “property.” When an animal is harmed, a lawsuit must show damage to the owner. Incredibly, civil lawsuits must demonstrate violation of the owner’s constitutional rights (known as a Section 1983 case). In tort cases, damages may be measured by the “market value” or purchase price of the animal, regardless of the egregious harm done to the animals and the emotional damage done to their human companions.

    States including Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas and New York have demonstrated openness to cases that request relief beyond an animal’s market value. Emotional distress of the owner, loss of companionship, and intrinsic value may be considered in some cases. In Texas, the State Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case filed for “sentimental value” of a companion animal. Similarly, a Tennessee statute allows suits for emotional distress damages due to the wrongful death of a companion animal; Tennessee’s General Patton Act, as a result of the infamous Smoak’s case, mandates training in animal behavior for law enforcement officers."

    http://aldf.org/resources/when.....forcement/

  • Name Redacted||

    Police officers are underpaid? Not if you include overtime. In any case, no one forces people to become police officers.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/m.....3zotPlSZOs

    And more in some cities. The problem with police officers is that their bad acts almost never have bad consequences for them; doesn't matter if their victims are puppies or people, it's the same thing. They are for the most part above the law.

  • Vampire||

    Oh wait, socialism is bad, and so are monopolies. But then all of the sudden socialism is great so long as government does it in the name of defense and so called protection? It's ok so long as they are the sole arbiter of force and only they are able to use violence to include murder against individuals if they refuse to obey? Oh, heaven forbid free individuals have a chance at providing protective services through the market where individuals can freely choose the services they receive, and immediately defend themselves should someone aggress against their liberty.

    Your attempted justification of government monopolies and violence as some how better than free individuals is nonsensical. The well over 70+ interventions by the US since WW2 alone help to debunk such nonsense. We should have been enjoying complete freedom by now with all of those interventions into foreign lands, sadly the govt is continuously taking away liberties.

    With your argument, there should be government food too. Just as defensive means are necessary for survival, so is food. So why leave that in the hands of corporations who could mess up the food supply to purposely kill mass amounts of individuals if they banded together. Oh wait, that happened with the "collectivized" farms in the Soviet Union....

  • Edwin||

    Vampire,

    A lot of libertarians get the competing security companies thing, it's just in aggregate over a long period of time it isn't stable. I know most non-anarcho libertarians say it will devolve into one huge security company through violence, but even where they may be wrong, the tendency will be to turn back into traditional land-jurisdiction states anyway.

    I personally think the devolving into bedlam thing or the one company taking complete power thing would only MAYBE happen, but even if it didn't, it would still eventually die down and then lead into traditional land-jurisdiction states, or none of that and still evolve into traditional.

    You've got to remember that like 90% of all of the economy is local. Also, there are lots of laws that deal with land and neighbors. Having a bunch of companies with a bunch of different ideas about the rules in the same region isn't feasible. Repeatedly you'd have the same stupid conflicts come up based on the same differeing sets of rules. Eventually, everyone would realize that the only real way to resolve the conflict (and thereby have the economies run smoothly) is to just separate into traditional jurisdictions.

  • Edwin||

    Part of the problem is that part of the whole idea of a system of rules or rights is that you ABSOLUTELY have the right to violence if the someone's rights are being violated. this is the part that could lead to massive violence. But even if they all tried to resolve their conflicts peacably, still they'd eventually go back to traditional land jurisdictions for efficiency.

    You have to remember that the nation-state, in all its previous forms (often quite different, but always having a few central similarities) is a long term STABLE social structure. Some things just work out a certain way because of stability. Marriage, for example, is like this. Ditto agriculture. These are all long term stable social structures.

    Indeed, are we not already anarcho-capitalist? We already have a bunch of security companies around the world, they're called "countries". Honestly how is the current situation any different from what you're describing, other than the fact that "security companies" that DIDN'T establish land based jurisdictions never worked out?

  • Vampire||

    Please read Hans-Hermann Hoppe's "the private production of defense" it dispels many of the myths associated with the state and national defense. There are many others to include Rothbard that deal with this matter.

    http://mises.org/document/1893.....of-Defense

  • ace_m82||

    I am more angry about this story than any other I can remember. Words fail me.

    I'm trying to remember that I'm a Christian and I'm not supposed to take vengeance on evil people. But I don't know if I could suppress the urge to simply "put down" the violent animal that killed my dog.

    "I don't think you understand, these boys killed my dog." (Bob Lee Swagger on why he's going to war.)

  • Response||

    I've talked to a police officer about this sort of thing and he said that all police are trained to consider dogs to be property. If they are chasing after someone then the dog is considered an obstacle and shooting the dog is the quickest way around the obstacle.

    He said that if he were to stop/back-out and the person they were chasing were to then attack/hold-hostage someone that everyone would have said to shoot the dog. They do understand that it angers the community when they shoot a dog, but they think the possible alternatives are worse. I told him that the police are going to lose the support of the community because dogs are family. And that people will no longer call when they see a suspect at a neighbor's home because calling the police could result in their own dog being killed - increasing incentive to buy more guns for protecting only your own home.

    Overall the only thing that concerns them is losing community support and being held responsible for harm if they stop chasing because they entered a dog's backyard. I think they already lost a lot of community support, so the only option we have is to vote in laws that would release a cop from being responsible for harm if they back out of a dog's backyard.

  • ||

    If they are chasing after someone then the dog is considered an obstacle and shooting the dog is the quickest way around the obstacle.

    Curb... blam! Locked door... blam! Hedges... blam! blam! Child's toy... blam!

    COPS! has turned a lot of officers into their own caricatures. How about they obey the law and generally respect property rights to begin with? It's not the dog's backyard and, as any gun owner can attest, 'Forget the dog, beware of owner.'

    Despite Hollywood's best portrayals, the odds a fleeing suspect grabs a hostage are slim (violent offenders don't use hostages and non-violent offenders tend not to escalate) and shooting a dog doesn't prevent or considerably diminish those odds. Further, the fleeing suspect seizes a hostage not to help them run faster or better evade police, but to prevent themselves from being shot. With no officer in pursuit and little-to-no threat of being shot, what's the purpose in grabbing a hostage?

  • Response||

    Personally, I don't buy the BS about dogs being property - I think they consider them even below that. For example, let's say every cop was carry some uber weapon that would kill instantly any animal that the cop shot at. Now let's say that the cop was running through a zoo to chase after some person. And the person being pursued is jumping into all kinds of pens and such in an attempt to get away. Would the cop go around shooting at a punch zoo animals? I don't think so. Sure some would say that they would start blowing away animals like some big game hunter - and maybe it would happen... once. After that, all the animal rights advocates would be all over the police making sure it never happened again. Zoo animals are property. Dogs are family. Every person that owns a dog would kill a large predator (endangered or not, human or not) to protect their dog if they have that option. The excuse that cops can put down a dog at will is just about the most awful fucking bullshit I can imagine.

  • ||

    Personally, I don't buy the BS about dogs being property - I think they consider them even below that.

    They don't, that was my point. As a libertarian and civilian, I can understand them not regarding my pet as human or family (I don't happen to regard my own pets this way), but to consider shooting them (even if they are only property) as the most expedient way of dealing with said property/obstacle is a horrible operative principle to begin with.

    Might as well surround the neighborhood, set fire to all the obstacles and arrest/detain everyone who runs out.

  • Remnant Psyche||

    "Nobody wants to see police officers—already underpaid and underappreciated—get hurt in the line of duty."

    1) I don't know that police officers areunderpaid.

    2) I don't know that they're underappreciated.

    3) I would absolutely kill anyone for killing or hurting one of my dogs.

  • David Shellenberger||

    Government police are not "underpaid and underappreciated," and it's not time to "teach them some new tricks." It's time to fire them all and have a free market in security.

  • JPyrate||

    Agreed.

  • ||

    It's time to fire them all and have a free market in security.

    As sarcasmic points out, you'll end up with a monopoly on organized violence run by a group of shareholders elected by shareholders based on their ability to invest (which is pretty much what you have now).

    What needs to be happen is a greater popular intolerance for even modest mistakes and transgressions on the part of this monopoly. The services offered by this monopoly need to devalued to the point of becoming undesirable.

    Not to say that public servants should be spat upon at every turn, but that we need to more accurately filter for those who perform as heroes and those who actually deserve to be spat upon at every turn.

  • poppavein||

    Cops have to defend themselves using lethal force to defend themselves against threats to their lives.

    How many cops have died due to dog bite? Zero.

    Any cop that shoots a dog is a coward and should be fired. I don't get why their peers put up with it; obviously they are cowards too.

  • astronomical object||

    Compare to "cop privilege":

    "Dog Dies from Fractured Skull—ASPCA Arrests Suspect":

    Early this morning, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Queens resident Jerry Melendez for beating his five-year-old Chihuahua, Spotye...

    Melendez, 33, was arrested by ASPCA Special Agent Debbie Ryan and charged with ***one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony.*** If convicted, he faces ***up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine.***

    http://www.aspca.org/blog/dog-.....ect?page=6

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