Criminal Justice

Puppycide

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Earlier this month in Garrison, Minnesota, police came to a woman's house because her car by chance was similar to a car used in a recent bank robbery. The woman wasn't in any way connected to the robbery. As she spoke with one police officer, another walked around back to look around. He entered her backyard where, as any reasonable person might suspect, one of her two dogs snarled at the sight of a stranger poking around on the property.

The officer pulled out his gun and shot the dog dead, while the woman's two-year-old son watched from 20 feet away. The officer won't be disciplined.

Meanwhile, a Pittsburgh man was jailed last week and held on $100,000 bond. His crime? Threatening a police dog that startled him with a growl as he walked by.

"Government Goons Murder Puppies!" here.

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  1. Why isn’t the officer being disciplined? Did the dog weigh 300 pounds and did it charge him Cujo-style, or did it simply annoy the officer enough to cause him to employ the Judge Dredd-like authority many police officers seem to think they possess?

  2. “A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law,”

    ROFL That says it all. Now let’s see them live by that standard in every case.

  3. Perhaps if enough people write to Sheriff Todd O. Dahl and ask him why he allows his deputies to shoot and kill people’s pets whenever the deputies feel like it, this event may have a more satisfactory outcome, or at least a more thorough review of the deputy’s actions.

  4. A police dog is a police officer

    That concept has always bothered me. It’s a felony if a person kills a police dog but it’s “an isolated incident” if a cop accidentally murders a human. What is wrong with this picture?

  5. From the second article: “A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law”

    What they leave out is that each additional police dog added to the force raises the average IQ of “police officers.”

  6. “A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law.”

    Fine, if you get that rule, we get this one:

    “A family dog is a family member. There is no difference under the law.”

    Now if you want to shoot my family member, you’d better have as much justification as you’d need for shooting me.

  7. Wasn’t there a story a few years ago where somebody slugged a NYPD horse, and was charged with assaulting an officer?

  8. Episiarch,

    I take it the guy hit the horse in the hind quarters?

  9. By now, you guys should know the score:

    If you’re not cop, you’re little people!

  10. “… anyone who would taunt a police officer can be considered a threat to the community.”

    And must be locked up.

    And if a police officer brings the institution of civil police work into disrepute, isn’t that person a threat to the community as well?

  11. I am the law.

  12. “… anyone who would taunt a police officer can be considered a threat to the community.”

    I’d say this statement is a frightening reminder that the police have gone too far, but that’s been said so often it’s lost all meaning.

  13. Episiarch –

    you mean Mongo?

  14. “A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law,”

    Who’s a good officer? Who’s a good officer? Who is it? Who’s a cutie?

  15. Did you see me lay down the law?

    FOR I AM THE LAWGIVER!!!

  16. Don’t shoot him; you’ll just make him mad.

  17. VM,
    Mongo only pawn in game of life.

  18. HEDLEY!!!!!

    fun one for you, Warren – yesterday at an Event, someone who is more on the liberal side of the spectrum was asking bunches about Ron Paul – he was very interested!

    Your work is being done, even when you’re not there!

  19. The officer pulled out his gun and shot the dog dead, while the woman’s two-year-old son watched from 20 feet away. The officer won’t be disciplined.

    If this happened to me, I would think very hard about “self-help.”

    Here’s a scenario for you. You hear a gunshot in your backyard. As a good American citizen, you arm yourself and investigate. You see a man standing over your dead dog with a gun in his hand.

    Under ordinary principles of self-defense (an armed trespasser on your property, who has just shot your dog), I would say you’ve got a green light to take him out. Any arguments so far?

    So, why can’t I shoot a cop in the same circumstances?

  20. Well, it’s a big improvement over shooting old women, isn’t it?

  21. Shouldn’t this go under puppycide, too?

  22. RC,

    See Bryant’s 9:44am comment for the answer to your 10:52 question.

  23. I wonder if the department has different polices on euthanasia for their two and four legged officers. For the sake of the cops (who are still human) I hope the officer is an officer rule doesn’t apply.

  24. RC,

    I’d probably do more than think about it if my wife wasn’t home. If she was home, I wouldn’t have to do a damn thing except call the lawyers. Shoot her dog? Oh, good lord, it’s on at that point. I’d have dead cops all over the yard while she reloads and screams at the corpses.

  25. A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law.

    I wonder if the bipedal officers are allowed to eliminate in a similar fashion as the four-legged ones. Since they are peers should the K-9 be cited for indecent exposure?

  26. I would like to see the dog take the witness stand.

    Could the dog be sued for excessive force?

  27. This is a bit of a tangent but I think speaks to the mindset of cops today. I was hit by a car on my motorcycle this weekend. As I sat on the ground in shock with a broken foot the cops around me started joking about how hard it was to ride after drinking. Then in the ambulance a cop started reading some DUI info sheet while the paramedics were checking me for internal injuries- he kept interrupting. Finally I had to say, “I’m injured and in shock, I need to go to the hospital, give me a damn blood test in the hospital if that’s your major concern.” or something like that, I might have called him a jerk.

    Arrests are paramount, fuck the little people.

  28. Arrests are paramount, fuck the little people.

    Translate that into Latin, and you’ve got a dandy motto for modern police forces to put on their badges.

    Remember when it was “To protect and serve”? Those were the days.

  29. As she spoke with one police officer, another walked around back to look around. He entered her backyard

    ???

    I’m curious about this, and would like some of the lawyers on the site to comment. Isn’t this close to a warrantless search? Or is a backyard considered a space that can be freely entered without permission?

  30. Way cool moose

  31. Well, it’s a big improvement over shooting old women, isn’t it?

    Yes, especially since the Miss Johnston’s killers were punished with a rolled-up newspaper.

  32. Aresen,

    In teh days before the Constitution was a “living document”, the Supreme court ruled routinely that a police-officer who was not acting on a warrant was subject to the smae sanctions that a private citizen would be carrying out the same actions.

    thus, if Officer Jones entered your property without a warrant and shot one of your dogs, you could defend youself as if he were Citizen jones and was trespassing on your property and discharging fire-arms.

    In the late 1800’s, as far as the Supreme Court was concerned, if you had shot officer Jones in that circumstance, you could not be sanctioned.

    In recent times, though, the charming myth that the U.S., State, and Town governemnts were created by people and granted certain powers in order to do their job no longer has any meaning. At this point, if you are in law enforcement, you are a master. If you are not, you are a servant.

    Upset a police officer, he can hit you, even murder you with impunity.

    On the other hand, if you defend yourself against one, no matter how unlawfully he is behaving, and no matter how much you are legitimately put in fear for you life by his actions, you will be lucky if you get off with 5 years in jail and the confiscation of your assets.

  33. tarran,

    Cynicism is so damned easy in 21st century America, isn’t it? Land of the Free, Hah!

  34. From the second article: “A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law”

    They assign more value to their dogs’ lives than their human employers’ lives … that’s fucked up

  35. “””So, why can’t I shoot a cop in the same circumstances?”””

    Because a cop is an extraordinary citizen with special rights. It may not be written that way, but it works that way in practice.

  36. “”Cynicism is so damned easy in 21st century America, isn’t it? Land of the Free, Hah!””

    No kidding

  37. “To protect and serve”?

    It’s just lucky that they have yet to develop a taste for human flesh or we’d all be subject to BBQ if we didn’t respect their “Athorita”.

    “To serve the public” would be a fine title for the Cops Cookbook.

  38. On the other hand, if you defend yourself against one, no matter how unlawfully he is behaving, and no matter how much you are legitimately put in fear for you life by his actions, you will be lucky if you get off with 5 years in jail and the confiscation of your assets.

    Or, if your name is Cory Maye, aren’t given a lethal injection.

  39. Why do I have a nagging suspicion that the guy in Pittsburgh might have been something other than Caucasian? I can totally see the cops throwing the book at someone for “taunting a police dog while black.

  40. Isn’t this close to a warrantless search? Or is a backyard considered a space that can be freely entered without permission?

    If the backyard is fenced off (IOW, if you have to go through a gate to get to it), then I think it counts as property for which you have an expectation of privacy and for which a warrant is needed. She may have consented to the officer going around back, though, in which case no warrant is needed.

  41. I doubt she gave them permission to go around back. The cop was probably going back there to secure the back exit to prevent escape, just in case they got the right house.

  42. R C Dean

    Thanks. That was more or less what I thought. The story didn’t give enough details.

    It looks like “Sovereign Immunity” wins again.

  43. I was just reminded by my parents of a moment when I was a wee little thing in NYC. We passed an officer with a police dog and I, being the sweet little pigtailed thing that I was, said, “oooh! Puppy!” and reached out to pat the doggy.

    The dog damn near took my arm off. He didn’t bite me, but he tried.

    The officer, instead of yanking the dog back, yelled at my parents and at me.

    My distrust of the police started early!

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