A police officer in Mobile, Alabama, shot two dogs, killing one and injuring the other, after entering a closed backyard while pursuing a “suspect” police would only identify as someone who ran off while being questioned by police.
"He had his arms up, both hands on the pistol, backing up and then he just pointed the gun down and shot twice," says Yeager.
Alfred was shot and killed in the back yard. A second dog, Bobidae, was shot in the ear.
"Common sense will tell you to knock on the door of the residence and let them know that there was some people running around that could be dangerous. If they had done that then at that point in time I would have told them never to come into my backyard or I could've got the dogs inside where they belong in their kennels, and everything would have been fine," he says.
The Mobile Police Department, of course, disagree with Yeager, telling WKRG they won’t stop to ask permission if they’re in pursuit of a suspect. When it comes to car chases, some jurisdictions place restrictions on car chases due to the risk of serious injury often present in such pursuits. In fact, a question of qualified immunity for cops when such chases turn deadly is being heard by the Supreme Court this year. The incidence of police shootings of dogs, not to mention humans, in the course of other police work, like foot chases, drug and no-knock raids, and even serving probation warrants, suggests more general restrictions on police action to limit the risk of injury and death would also be prudent. It’s time to apply the fireman’s rule to police officers.