Colorado Cop Facing Felony Animal Cruelty Charge For Shooting Dog to Death

A Commerce City, Colorado cop who shot a three-year-old mixed-breed after responding to a call about a vicious loose dog appeared in court today to face one charge of felony animal cruelty. The cop, Robert Price, was caught on camera, by a neighbor with a cellphone, shooting the dog, Chloe, five times while he and two other officers tried to restrain it. The officer appears to pull his gun out early on in the incident (video below). The police union, naturally, is coming to the officer’s defense. From the local NBC affiliate 9 News:

The Fraternal Order of Police says Price is wrongly accused, and they showed up to support the officer.

"The Fraternal Order of Police finds the charging of this officer outrageous, and not within the scope of the event," the Fraternal Order of Police released. "We have our opinion as to why the DA charged the officer. In light of the atmosphere surrounding this circus, you can judge why for yourself."

The prosecution of a cop for the death of an animal is rare, but could be a sign of things to come, as the Denver Post reported last month:

Animal Law Center lawyer Jennifer Edwards, who might file a civil claim on behalf of the dog's owner,Gary Branson, called the case a turning point in animal law.

"In general, there is a growing trend for justice for animals, but this is definitely a turn in the right direction," said Edwards, who represented the owner of a dog killed by Brighton police in 2008.

More Reason on puppycides.

Video of the incident (shooting starts at about 2:11):

 

h/t Hugh Akston

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Libertymike||

    Is there any sane, rational reason why this parasite should not spend the rest of his life behind the wall?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Because killing someone's dog should be a crime, but not a life-in-prison crime.

  • Libertymike||

    No, if a law enforcement officer or other agent of the state perpetrates the crime, why should it not result in life without the possibility of parole?

    In a free society, the penalties for destroying property of another should be harsh if the guilty party is one of the king's men.

  • Redmanfms||

    In a free society

    Yup, nothing says "free society" quite like (in)equality before the law.

  • BarryD||

    Cops are not owed "equality" in court, when they have extraordinary power outside it.

  • Redmanfms||

    Much of that power stems from the fact that they are not hel equal under the law.

    You and LM are nothing more than petty, vindictive fascists joyously proposing certain people be liable to extra punishment rather than supporting action that would hold officers accountable in the same fashion any other citizen would be.

  • BarryD||

    And you're too stupid to understand either rhetorical device, or the fact that cops will always have a unique role in society. A free society will hold cops to standards commensurate with their duties and oaths.

    So suck it, dumbfuck.

  • Redmanfms||

    So you believe that some animals really are better, you wish to maintain that status quo and establish another tier of law for others? Brilliant strategy, truly. Just brilliant.

    Gee, not like that exact same argument has been used by collectivists to tax and grief the wealthy.

    So suck it, dumbfuck.

    Kindly go play and traffic, take your children with you.

  • Hopfiend||

    agree. he should spend some time locked up and lose the ability to work as a cop forever. It appeared to me that the dog was in the restraint when it was shot, any differing view?

  • Libertymike||

    Life should be the presumptive penalty for any law enforcement officer who murders the animal of another.

  • BarryD||

    Or engages in any other gratuitous act of violence to demonstrate his power over others.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I hope that nosy neighbor has all his or her ducks in a row.

  • Hopfiend||

    Might need to move so they don't get extra "protection"

  • Rick James||

    you can judge why for yourself."

    And that we will.

  • Rick James||

    Oh, and for the record, Officer A could spend a little more time on the stairmaster. Because if I was half the man he is...

  • Rick James||

    Charlie Rangel!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    "The Fraternal Order of Police finds the charging of this officer outrageous, and not within the scope of the event," the Fraternal Order of Police released. "We have our opinion as to why the DA charged the officer. In light of the atmosphere surrounding this circus, you can judge why for yourself."

    And FTFA:

    "It is our opinion these officers did nothing wrong and are unfortunate victims of a sensationalized media event," "the Fraternal Order of Police said. "This matter never should have been referred to the DA's office by the department. The circumstances involved did not warrant that action. It is obvious to us that the involved officials felt the media and public focus being brought to bear on their decisions regarding this matter, and as result found it easier to act in the manner they did rather than do the right thing in this case."

    So are they going to give any actual reason why shooting the dog shouldn't result in charges (or why the shooting didn't actually happen), or are they just going to ad hominem the DAs?

  • Rick James||

    It is obvious to us that the involved officials felt the media and public focus being brought to bear on their decisions regarding this matter, and as result found it easier to act in the manner they did rather than do the right thing in this case."

    Well, yes, often seeing, on camera, the actions of the police officer make it much easier to bring action against them. Funny that.

  • Mensan||

    So, they're saying the only reason the cop is being prosecuted is because he was caught killing the dog on camera?

  • MisterDamage||

    I can't think of any other circumstance that would result in an officer being prosecuted for something a citizen would be prosecuted for.

  • Rick James||

    It's too bad the guy shooting the video couldn't stop doing jumping jacks long enough to get a steady shot.

    Oh, why don't cops tase animals?

  • KPres||

    Cause that doesn't get you your fix for the day.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Tasers would probably kill smaller animals anyway.

    The real question is why they don't pepper spray an attacking dog. I'd think that would take care of things nicely.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Are you kidding? He gets to kill something! And get paid!

  • BarryD||

    And he has a bunch of union thugs to back him, too.

    That's why he signed up.

  • Loki||

    Because they have families and wives to go home to, and the only thing that can get them hard enough to give their wives any kind of sexual gratification is to shoot something. Unfortunately shooting people always involves a lot of questions and red tape and talk of "consistitutional rights", whatever the hell those are. Shooting dogs on the other hand, as long as some nosy civilian doesn't record it on video, they can get away with. Then when they get home they can give it to their wives for a full 10 seconds before they cum too soon.

  • hotsy totsy||

    What I most object to is police busting in a house especially on a no-knock raid and killing the dogs almost like a precaution. Dogs running wild in a neighborhood, not so much.

    That said, couldn't they pepper spray or tase the damn thing? Some little kid could've run out of the house and been in the line of fire.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I once saw a cop pull up to two dogs wandering together, asked if they belonged to anyone, then opened the car door and motioned them to jump in. Then he drove away, and the dogs were never seen again.

  • ||

    Animal Law Center lawyer Jennifer Edwards, who might file a civil claim on behalf of the dog's owner,Gary Branson, called the case a turning point in animal law.

    Now if only we could punish cops for killing humans.

  • ||

    I find it highly repulsive how so many people care more about cops killing animals than they do people.

  • ||

    Dogs are generally of higher value than most people I know.

  • ||

    I'm joking.

    Mostly.

  • KPres||

    Dogs just have a smaller range. Great people are better than great dogs, but terrible people are far worse than terrible dogs.

    I'd say your average dog provides more social value than about 30% of the population.

  • BarryD||

    You must know a lot of cops.

  • tarran||

    It shouldn't repulse you. People view dogs as being morally similar to babies: innocent creatures that selflessly guard us and give us love and which in turn depend on us for care and protection.

    People get more upset about the killing of a baby than an adult because the baby has no sporting chance to avoid that terrible fate. Ditto with dogs.

  • ||

    Yeah, sorry, I find caring more about a dog than a sentient being being killed to be repulsive.

  • tarran||

    That's because you are a weirdo.

  • Mensan||

    Your statement makes no sense.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Dogs are sentient beings. But yeah, I find people who get more upset over dogs than people to be pretty repulsive too.

    Dogs have also been known to kill or maim people. Unlike babies. Anyone who thinks of the two as equal is an idiot.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You are correct, Tarran. Episiarch, do you have pets? Dogs? I would get far more emotionally upset if someone killed my dog for no good reason than I would for some stranger murdered across town. Does that repulse you? The IRA finally lost much of its public support when one of their attacks killed some horses.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I get more rage from the people nut kicks than the animal nut kicks on this web site.

  • ||

    Justice for animals?

    What about justice for the property owner?

  • Hugh Akston||

    They should definitely add criminal property destruction to the charges.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Also Ed, I think I've been commenting here long enough to warrant an adjective in my hat tips.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    How about "bossy", "fussy', or "interfering"?

  • B.P.||

    There's another one here that the locals are up in arms about...

    http://www.9news.com/news/arti.....illing-dog

    Who the hell gets freaked out by a border collie?

  • Loki||

    A cop with a freakishly small dick?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The cop was getting herded into a corner and though it might be an ambush!

  • Hyperion||

    That is one that the case should be really solid for. The dog wasn't even threatening the cop, at all. Of course that's the typical puppycide case.

  • tarran||

    So, Radley is going with the daily nutpunches now:

    So as I've mentioned, I have a book on police militarization coming out in June. In anticipation of that, I'm starting a new "raid of the day" feature on this blog. Each weekday between now and then, I'll post the details of a militarized police operation. Most will be raids that were botched, on the wrong house, or in some other way went wrong. But I'll also feature some that went right -- or at least as intended -- which can be just as problematic.
    Today's featured raid is the March 1996 raid in Miami, Florida that claimed the life of 73-year-old retired salesman Richard Brown.

    The police in Miami had received a tip from an informant that Brown, who had no criminal record, was selling drugs from his small apartment. So they sent the SWAT team. The police claimed at the time that Brown began firing at them as soon as they entered his home. So they fired back.
    ...
    By the time they were finished, they had pumped 123 rounds into Richard Brown’s apartment—nine of them into Richard Brown. One Miami SWAT officer also mistakenly shot one of his colleagues in the back.

    They didn't find a gun, so they planted one. They did find his great-granddaughter cowering in a closet trying to call 911 to report the home invasion.

    And nothing else happened!

  • Brutus||

    Jesus, going in all SWATted up for what they thought was a low-level dealer but who was, in fact, just a retired salesman. These cops need to be in the pokey.

  • KPres||

    "One Miami SWAT officer also mistakenly shot one of his colleagues in the back."

    Uh oh! Whadda you do? Beat him up for shooting a cop or try to bury the story because he's a cop?

  • entropy||

    The cop, Robert Price, was caught on camera, by a neighbor with a cellphone, shooting the dog, Chloe, five times while he and two other officers tried to restrain it.

    Well at least he didn't have a high capacity magazine.

  • Loki||

    Actually he probably did and should therefore be commended for showing almost superhuman restraint in stopping after 5 rounds instead of emptying the entire clip.

  • entropy||

    You kidding me?!? That's against policy.

    He jeopardized officer safety.

    That's probably why he's actually getting charged for it then.

  • AnonCowHerd||

    The more interesting cop shoots animal story in Colorado is the elk killing in Boulder. Possible fed charges, tampering with evidence, witness tampering. Boulder PD bending over backwards to help prosecutors.

  • Loki||

    Only because it happened in Boulder, land of the rich white lib-tards. Had it happened anywhere else, I doubt anything would be done.

    tampering with evidence, witness tampering

    If they're willing to go that far to avoid any consequences for shooting an animal, it makes you wonder how far they'd go to get out of answering for shooting a person.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Probably as far as the Union rep's number on their cell phone.

  • B.P.||

    You forgot the part where Boulderites staged separate events -- a march and a candle-light vigil -- on behalf of the slain elk.

  • AnonCowHerd||

    Didn't forget, it's expected of the Progtards here. Just thought the story of the PD unable to cover up their stupidity was more interesting.

  • BarryD||

    That there even IS a FOP is the most disgusting thing of all.

  • Lyle||

    Were there little children nearby? Pitbulls can kill little children.

  • Lyle||

    Some Pitbulls are like the Crips and the Bloods, or Neo-Nazis of dogs.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Never the breed, always the owner.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Yup. My sister has a pitbull/lab mix. "Aggressive" is definitely NOT a word that could be applied to that dog. The biggest danger that dog poses is accidentally bruising you with her massive tail.

  • BarryD||

    You forgot about drawing fire from any cop within 100 yards. The dog could certainly pose a danger, if it "causes" a cop to recklessly empty a magazine in the direction of her home.

  • Generic Stranger||

    True.

  • Generic Stranger||

    You know what else can kill little children? Officers unnecessarily shooting at animals.

  • Lyle||

    Guns are dangerous.

  • Hyperion||

    I can see the liberals coming out in protest, over the snake.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    dude...if you are unsure if I ave read a nut punch rticle like that then it is best NOT TO POST IT!!! YOU ARE BEING NEGLIGENT!!

    I was forced to do further research and yeah...not one single day in jail and only $1000 fine. Holy fuck. Now I need to go watch some MLP:FiM to get my proper state back.

    THANKS!

  • Generic Stranger||

    I was going to apologize, but then I noticed you were a brony. Bronies deserve all the nutpuching they get. :P

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    good shoot imo

    hth

  • DWC||

    Does anyone doubt for a friggin minute that many cops are just itching for the chance to shoot/kill something? Family pets offer the perfect opportunity.

  • cw||

    So there was no way for the police to end this without having to kill the poor animal?

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    It was dark and the dog had a ray gun, looked real enough...

  • KPres||

    He was reaching in his collar for something!

  • waaminn||

    I say off with his head at once! Off with it!

    www.PrivoWeb.tk

  • txgypsy||

    WTF???? he waits until the dog is restrained before he shoots him???........Iguess if cops can get away w/ shooting handcuffed human suspects, they can get away with this.....

  • ChrisO||

    Cruelty to animals is a telltale sign of sociopathic tendencies. You do the math.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement